Dubai: Dubai’s Godolphin stable completed a unique Classic double at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, winning both the French 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas, the latter for the first time.
Highly regarded Persian King provided Godolphin with a fourth Poule d’Essai des Poulains (2000 Guineas) when he pulled away from his rivals to win the 1,600-metre contest in an impressive fashion.
It was a fifth career win for the son of leading mile, Kingsman. Godolphin’s previous wins in the French colt’s Classic came with Shamardal 2005, Bachir 2000 and Vettori 1995.
On a big day for flat-racing, Castle Lady replicated the feat of Persian King to land the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1,000 Guineas) for Godolphin’s French trainer Henri-Alex Pantall.
Mickael Barzalona did the steering aboard the daughter of Shamardal, who gifted Godolphin with a maiden French fillies’ Classic. Ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, Persian King quickened readily in the closing stages of the 2,000 Guineas to score by a length from Shaman, the mount of Maxime Guyon.
English hope San Donato, trained by Roger Varian at Newmarket, was a head back in second after a driving finish by Andrea Atzeni.
British oddsmaker Betfair cut Persian King’s odds to 6-4 (from 9-4) for the French Derby (Prix du Jockey Club) at Chantilly next month.
Fabre commented: “The [easy] ground didn’t help, as the horse has a beautiful action, but he showed courage and consistency.
“He’s a game horse as you can see. He’s in all the big races, but the Prix du Jockey Club is very tempting and he looks like he’d stay another quarter of a mile.
“The horses are going well and I’m quite happy,” added the master trainer.
Second on his debut at Deauville last August, Persian King has since remained unbeaten having won three times as a juvenile. One of his successes came over recent English 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last season.
Castle Lady extended her unbeaten record to three wins by taking the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches in good style.