Talismanic and Cloth of Stars kicked away from a quartet of outclassed rivals March 6 in the Darshaan Stakes at Chantilly, with Talismanic winning by 1 1/4 lengths over his Godolphin stablemate as both prepped for a trip to Dubai.
Andre Fabre trains the top two. Maxime Guyon had the winning ride.
Talismanic, a 5-year-old son of Medaglia d'Oro , took station just behind pacesetter Savoken through the early stages of the race with Cloth of Stars in the middle of the field. They raced that way until they straightened for home and when Guyon prompted Talismanic he easily took the lead and drew off.
Cloth of Stars, a 5-year-old by Sea the Stars, moved behind Talismanic under Mickael Barzalona and finished second, 3 1/2 lengths clear of Savoken in third. Talismanic finished the 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16 miles) on the Fibresand course in 1:55.95.
Talismanic's race was a warmup for the March 31 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) at Meydan. He earned that trip with a victory in the 2017 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) at Del Mar and a second, behind Highland Reel, in the Longines Hong Kong Vase (G1) at Sha Tin the following month.
The question is whether Talismanic's performances on the green surface and the Chantilly all-weather can translate to the Dubai dirt.
Cloth of Stars, runner-up to Enable in the 2017 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1), is targeting the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at 2,410 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) on the turf on Dubai World Cup night.
Rosa Imperial, also bound for Dubai for Godolphin and a date in the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi Developments (G1), finished second, beaten just three-quarters of a length in the Anabaa Stakes at 1,300 meters (about 1 3/8 miles) earlier on the Chantilly card.
"We were very pleased with Talismanic, Cloth Of Stars, and Rosa Imperial, who all appear to be in good form physically and mentally," said Godolphin's Lisa-Jane Graffard. "They will fly out to Dubai at the end of this week to continue their preparation for Dubai World Cup night."
Also on the Chantilly program, Hunaina upset Trais Fleurs in the Montjeu Stakes at 1,610 meters (about a mile), winning by three-quarters of a length with Robin of Navan third.