Godolphin's Noverre Wins French Classic

Godolphin Racing's Noverre rallied under Frankie Dettori with a furlong to run to win the Poule d'Essai des Poulains -- French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I), Sunday at Longchamp. Vahorimix finished second, with Clearing third in the 12-horse field.

The win was the first of the year for Saeed bin Suroor-trained Noverre, who finished second to Street Cry in March on dirt in his lone previous sophomore race. As a 2-year-old, Noverre won Thehorsesmouth.coUK Champagne Stakes (Eng-II) and the TNT July Stakes (Eng-III). The win improves his career mark to five wins from nine starts. He completed the mile race in 1:35.40 on a good turf course.

Noverre is by Rahy and out of the Northern Dancer mare Danseur Fabuleux. Danseur Fabuleux also produced Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Arazi (by Blushing Groom). Noverre's grandsire is Blushing Groom. Darley Stud Management bred Noverre in Kentucky.

The win provided much needed good news for the Dubai-based operation, which recently witnessed the death of its stallion Dubai Millennium, who owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum called, "the best horse that Godolphin has ever had." Godolphin runners then disappointed in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) last weekend. The lone recent bright spot for Godolphin was the second-place finish of Muwakleh in the Sagitta One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I). However, that success was marred when it was learned that the sister of Almutawakel fractured her right knee in the race, forcing her retirement.

"That's just the tonic we needed -- he's a little tiger," Dettori said of Noverre's performance. "I got stuck on the rails and I was fortunate the gaps appeared at the right time."

The win is the second straight in the race for Godolphin, who took the 2000 renewal with Bachir.