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Fabre calls time on juvenile campaigns for Classic hopes Raclette and Zellie

Raclette and Zellie, two of Andre Fabre’s Classic prospects for 2022, will not run again this season.

Zellie has the French 1000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, as her early-season target next year – after she signed off her juvenile campaign with victory in Sunday’s Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp.

The daughter of Wootton Bassett made light of the heavy ground to beat Times Square by a length and three-quarters in the Group One over a mile. It was her fourth win, to add to two second places from six starts.

Zellie proved an able deputy for Raclette in the Prix Marcel Boussac
Zellie proved an able deputy for Raclette in the Prix Marcel Boussac (PA)

“She has come out of the race very well,” said Fabre.

“She is finished for the season – she will go for the French Guineas, for sure.”

Raclette, who was a late withdrawal from the same race at the weekend because of the testing conditions, has also been put away for the winter and will then be trained for either the English or French 1000 Guineas.

Fabre shelved plans to reroute the Frankel filly to Newmarket on Friday for the Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes, after bad weather prevented her from having a workout over the weekend.

“She was supposed to work on Sunday,” he said.

“But there was a storm in Chantilly, and I couldn’t work her, so I decided not to run her at Newmarket.

“She is done for the season. One of the Guineas, the French or the English, will be her first target.

“Then we will see. She will probably get further.”

Andre Fabre eyes second Tattersalls title with Trident

Trident is a hot favourite to provide Andre Fabre with his second victory in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket.

It is 30 years since the French maestro landed Thursday’s Group Three contest with the Pat Eddery-ridden Tertian, and Trident will be a short price to add his name to the roll of honour after filling the runner-up spot in last month’s Prix Morny at Deauville.

The Wootton Bassett colt will step up to seven furlongs for the first time on the Rowley Mile, and Fabre is in confident mood.

“The step up in trip looks sure to suit him,” he said.

“I see they had rain on Sunday at Newmarket. But it should have dried by now – and in any case, whatever the ground is it won’t bother him.

“He got a bump in the Morny just when he was quickening. The extra distance this time will be in his favour, and he’s going to run well.

“He’s a very reliable colt.”

The home team includes the Martyn Meade-trained Cresta, who made a big impression when making a successful start to his career at Leicester in early August.

Cresta (left) winning at Leicester
Cresta (left) winning at Leicester (David Davies/PA)

That form has been boosted by the subsequent Doncaster success of Charlie Appleby’s Modern Games, who reopposes.

Meade said of Cresta: “We were really pleased with him last time. Obviously this is a step up, but he’s in good form and is ready to take his chance.

“I think this is the right sort of race for him.

“Andre Fabre’s horse was obviously second in the Morny and you can’t take that away from him, but you shouldn’t be worried about one and we’ll take him on.”

Harrow has won his last three starts for Andrew Balding, completing his hat-trick with a lucrative sales race success at Doncaster.

Harrow steps up in class for Andrew Balding and Highclere
Harrow steps up in class for Andrew Balding and Highclere (Nigel French/PA)

He turns out a fortnight later for his first start at Pattern level.

Harry Herbert, manging director of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “Andrew has always held the horse in high regard – and with every race, he’s taken a big step forward.

“I think having won that valuable sales race at Doncaster, Andrew desperately wanted to move into black-type company, so we’ll see.

“It’s a big leap, as we know – taking on Andre Fabre’s horse, Trident.

“But he’s very tough, and we need to see where we are in the big picture.”

Andre Fabre harbouring high hopes for Raclette

Andre Fabre has hailed the unbeaten Raclette as probably one of the best fillies he has ever trained – after just two races.

Owned by Juddmonte Stud, she is by Frankel and out of multiple American Grade One winner Emollient.

A winner over an extended seven furlongs at Deauville on debut, Raclette was hugely impressive in a conditions race at Chantilly last week and now has a Group One date in the Prix Marcel Boussac looming.

“She was very impressive last time out and she is probably one of the best fillies I have ever trained – she’s got everything,” said Fabre.

“She has acceleration, a wonderful temperament, so far she is doing everything right.

“We’ll go for the Boussac with her next.

“It is quite a big step going from a conditions race to a Group One, but she was way better than her opponents last time.

“I can’t see why quicker ground would be an issue as she has a beautiful action.

“She has already won over a mile so the dream would be the Prix de Diane and the Arc, but there’s also a lot of speed on the dam’s side so hopefully she’d go for the Guineas first.”

Fabre also had an update on Mare Australis who has not been seen since winning the Prix Ganay back in in April having picked up an ankle injury.

“I had some good news about Mare Australis last week from his owner. He’ll be back in training this winter,” said Fabre.

Andre Fabre sets out Foret aim for Tropbeau

Andre Fabre will work backwards from the Prix de la Foret with Tropbeau following her return to form in the Prix Maurice de Gheest on Sunday.

The filly was sent off a huge price in the Group One having shown little in four runs to date this season, but finished just under two lengths behind Marianafoot in second.

Fabre sees her as a seven-furlong specialist, having finished fourth in the Foret last year, and ParisLongchamp is the target again.

“It was half a surprise!” said Fabre.

“It was the first time, I would say almost in her life, that she ran over the correct distance. There have just been no races for her.

“She’s not a miler, she doesn’t stay, and she’s not a sprinter so six furlongs is too short.

“She ran very well in the Prix de la Foret last year (fourth) but so far this season there have been no suitable races for her.

“The Foret will be her big aim again. It’s a shame there are so few good seven-furlong races and it is a distance that really suits her.

“There is an option to go to America with her around two bends so she could go to the Breeders’ Cup.”

At Deauville a week earlier Fabre also had to settle for second with Zellie behind George Boughey’s Oscula in the Prix Six Perfections.

“Zellie looked a bit unlucky, it was a shame, she finished off really well,” said Fabre.

“She’s in the Prix du Calvados at Deauville so that is an option. I’m not sure if we could take her to Newmarket.

“There is a seven-furlong race there in September (Rockfel) that we could look at.”

Fabre wary of Palace Pier as Victor Ludorum goes for Marois gold

Andre Fabre believes Palace Pier “sets the standard” in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.

Fabre, who has won the Marois a joint-record seven times, is set to run Victor Ludorum, who returned to winning ways in Group Three company last time out.

John and Thady Gosden’s Palace Pier won the race last year, and while he missed the Sussex Stakes due to a blood disorder he has already won the Lockinge and Queen Anne Stakes this season.

Poetic Flare, who is also due to run, is the leading three-year-old miler, but Jim Bolger’s charge was beaten in the Sussex by Alcohol Free last time out, his third defeat of a busy season in which he has won the 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes.

“He’s going to run, he won nicely last time and if the ground dries up that will help him,” said Fabre of Victor Ludorum.

“It will have helped his confidence winning last time out. I’m quite confident he’s going to run well.

“I haven’t been that impressed by the three-year-old generation this season, to be honest – so I think Palace Pier remains the one to beat.

“I know Jim Bolger really likes his horse, but he’s a bit up and down. On his good days he is very good, he was very impressive at Royal Ascot but he has obviously been beaten a few times, too.

“Because of that I think Palace Pier sets the standard to aim at.”

Bolger could also run his Irish Guineas winner Mac Swiney.

Jessica Harrington’s Alpine Star was second last year and is set for another crack, Richard Hannon is represented by Chindit and Aidan O’Brien has left in Mother Earth and Order Of Australia.

Marianafoot, winner of the Prix Maurice de Gheest at the weekend, has been taken out by Jerome Reynier.

Atomic Force impresses with front-running Chantilly strike

Atomic Force put up another scintillating performance for an all-the-way win in the Group Two Darley Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly.

Kevin Ryan’s hugely-talented juvenile was never headed as he added this prize to last month’s equally impressive course-and-distance victory in the Prix du Bois on his previous trip to France.

Stephane Pasquier again had the son of Cotai Glory out in front from the outset after breaking very well – and although the field briefly closed up mid-race, Atomic Force quickened again to win emphatically by two and a half lengths from outsider Baghed.

A second British challenger, Hellomydarlin, was third for George Boughey.

The winner has changed hands since his first Chantilly victory – from Hambleton Racing to Siu Pak Kwan.

But he remains in Ryan’s North Yorkshire yard, and he said: “He’s a very straightforward horse, has a huge amount of ability, a great temperament, a great mind.

“He has a high cruising speed and he quickens off it. He’s a wonderful horse to deal with.

“He cruises through a race, and he has that good turn of foot, and he’s done it very stylishly again today.”

As a gelding, several high-profile targets cannot be considered – but Atomic Force does hold an entry in next month’s valuable Ballyhane Stakes at Naas.

Ryan is in no rush to make definite plans, however.

“He’s a fantastic horse,” he said.

“From day one, he’s been a lovely horse to deal with, and has identified his ability very early and then just kept improving with it.

“I’m delighted for the (new) connections as well.

“He’s limited as to what he can go for. We’ll let him get home, and I’ll discuss that with his connections at the end of week.

“We won’t make any decisions (just yet), and we’ll do what’s right by the horse.”

Earlier on the card, Victor Ludorum returned to winning form for the first time in six starts, since his success in last year’s French 2000 Guineas at Deauville, easily collaring front-running Brentford Hope in the Group Three Prix Messidor.

Mickael Barzalona tracked Richard Hughes’ British contender on Andre Fabre’s charge, before leading two furlongs out and taking the measure of the runner-up – who stayed on well to keep the remainder at bay but was beaten three lengths.

Barzalona told Sky Sports Racing: “That was great. He was a little bit disappointing in his last run (fifth in the Group One Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp).

“He’d come back very well from his first run of the season.

“(But) today it was a nice, regular pace – and I was pretty happy.”

A return to the top level, and a clash with John and Thady Gosden’s top miler Palace Pier, may beckon for Victor Ludorum in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville next month.

“That might be part of the normal programme for him,” said Barzalona.

“It’s going to be a top race, against Palace Pier, but he deserves to be in it.”

Barzalona and Fabre completed a big-race double when Noticeable Grace took the Group Three Prix Chloe.

Barzalona again hauled back a long-time leader but only just in time on this occasion, as Noticeable Grace pounced deep in the final furlong to pass Charlie Appleby’s Creative Flair to win by a head.

In a busy finish, Rougir also eventually got the better of Creative Flair to bag second spot by a nose.

Ankle problem will keep Mare Australis out this summer

Prix Ganay winner Mare Australis has met with a setback which will rule him out until the autumn at the earliest.

The four-year-old, trained by Andre Fabre, leapt to prominence with his stylish Group One victory at ParisLongchamp in early May.

That was just the sixth race of his life, and he looked a likely contender for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but plans are currently on hold.

“Unfortunately Mare Australis has a problem with an ankle,” said Fabre.

“I hope he will recover in time for the autumn, but he won’t run at all through the summer.”

Fabre’s smart filly Philomene is on a short break, meanwhile, before her preparations pick up a gear for the Prix Vermeille.

Winner of her first two races, Philomene found the drop back in trip to a mile against her in the French Guineas and was then a fast-finishing second to Aidan O’Brien’s Joan Of Arc in the French Oaks.

She looks sure to be suited by stepping up to a mile and a half later in the year.

“Philomene will run in Deauville on August 21 (Prix de la Nonette) – she’s going to have her prep race for the Vermeille,” said Fabre.

“I think it’s clear she’s capable of winning a Group One. You couldn’t blame the jockey last time – because that happens at Chantilly.”

Earthlight retired to stud

Earthlight, a dual Group One winner as a juvenile, has been retired from racing and will stand at Kildangan Stud in Ireland in 2021.

Trained by Andre Fabre, the Shamardal colt won both the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes in an unbeaten five-race campaign in 2019, setting a new course record at Newmarket on the latter occasion.

Earthlight missed the early part of the 2020 season after suffering a setback, before returning with a Deauville Listed win in July, after which he finished a length behind Space Blues when fourth in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest.

He bounced back with a Group Three win when stepped up to seven furlongs next time, but had to settle for second in the Prix de la Foret on what was his final career start, beaten a neck by three times race winner One Master.

Godolphin’s Lisa-Jane Graffard told www.godolphin.com: “Earthlight has been the most wonderful horse to be around. He was far superior to his rivals at two, showing a decisive turn of foot in his two Group One wins, while his demeanour was always one of calm self-assurance.

“He has been a wonderful flagbearer for Godolphin, from a family that has been nurtured for generations, by the late Shamardal and out of a New Approach mare. He showed class and courage in his races and will be a great asset to the Darley stallion roster.”

Earthlight is the second Godolphin star to retire in recent days, with last year’s top juvenile Pinatubo bowing out last Friday.

Persian King poised for retirement after gallant Arc effort

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe third Persian King is highly unlikely to run again before heading to stud.

A deal had already been signed for the son of Kingman to stand at Haras d’Etreham stud in France, and he put up a brave display in attempting to add to his three previous Group Ones.

It was all the more meritorious that he was only beaten two lengths over a mile and a half in very deep ground, considering his last run had come over a mile when winning the Prix du Moulin, where he beat Pinatubo.

Persian King also won the French 2000 Guineas last year and the Prix d’Ispahan earlier this campaign.

He holds an entry on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot in the Champion Stakes, but Fabre is not keen on that idea in the belief the four-year-old will not have sufficient time to recover from his Arc exertions.

“I was pleased with his race and we had no excuses, I think he ran well,” said Fabre.

“It was his first run over that distance and the ground was very soft. Perhaps if it wasn’t he may have held on. Who knows.

“I don’t think he’ll run again not, probably not. Ascot will come too soon and I don’t want to travel to America.”

Fabre also went close with Earthlight, who was caught close home by the William Haggas-trained One Master in the Prix de la Foret, a third win in the race for the mare.

“One Master certainly knows where the winning post is at Longchamp, she is a fantastic mare,” said Fabre.

“It’s very unlikely he will go to the Breeders’ Cup. The travel is very complicated this year because of the virus.

“Whether he stays in training has still to be decided by Sheikh Mohammed (owner), I don’t know yet.

“It was a frustrating day yesterday without a winner, but that is racing. Given the circumstances – the lack of a crowd and desperate ground – it was quite a nice meeting with a nice atmosphere and good races.”