Dubai: Persian King delivered a ninth Group 1 success of the year for Team Godolphin when running out a comfortable winner of the Prix d’Ispahan at France’s historic Chantilly Racecourse on Sunday evening.
Ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, a 27-year-old jockey who is making good progress on the French circuit, Persian King stayed on strongly to win the 1,800 metre contest by two lengths from the fast finishing long-shot Stormy Antarctic, the mount of Alexis Badel.
Pogo, who like Stormy Antarctic is trained in England, was a length-and-three-quarters back in third for Lambourn-based jockey Kieran Shoemark.
The Prix d’Ispahan is traditionally held at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris but was moved to Chantilly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Persian King also brought up Godolphin’s ninth Group and Best of the B1 success of the season and became the Dubai-owned stable’s third winner of the race following Halling in 1996 and Best of the Bests in 2002.
The winner is jointly owned by Godolphin SNC and Ballymore Thoroughbred Ltd. Persian King is a Kingman colt bred at Dayton Investments, the family run racing and breeding empire of the Alec Wildenstein. He is trained at Chantilly by legendary French handler, Andre Fabre.
Winner of the French Guineas last season and second in the French Derby, Persian King arrived for the Chantilly feature on the back of a win in the Group 2 Prix du Muguet at Saint Cloud in June.
Charlie Hills’ Pogo made the early running under Shoemark with Stormy Antarctic and Persian King settled in behind.
However, once Persian King changed gears and cruised into the lead there was only one horse in the race although Ed Walker’s veteran Stormy Antarctic ran on spiritedly to claim second, with Pogo hanging on for third.
Anthony Stroud, racing manager for Ballymore Thoroughbred Ltd told Sky Sports Racing: “I was pleased with him, I thought he did it well. This was his third start back after a long time off, but he was back in a Group One so I was very pleased with the way he did it.
“I think the Arc has to be a possibility, but it depends on Andre and the owners.
“I think you just have to pick the right races and go for them,” Stroud added.
“There’s the Jacques le Marois or we could stretch him to a mile and a quarter, but I think it depends what the trainer and the two owners want.”
Stroud was the former Racing Manager to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vive President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He spent 14 years in this position during this period Sheikh Mohammed was the leading owner nine times in England, six times in France and four times in Ireland.