Dalakhani, a favorite for the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) (Fr-G1) on June 1 at Chantilly, extended his unbeaten record to five by bravely taking the Prix Lupin (Fr-G1) at 1 5/16 miles over a course rated as good to soft in 2:09.40.
Trained by Alain de Royer Dupre, the gray Irish-bred son of Darshaan who is a half brother to champion Daylami (Ire) took over the leaders two furlongs out and held off by one length fast-closing Super Celebre, winner of the Prix Noailles (Fr-G3) over the same course on April 6 in his previous start. Group 1 winner Alberto Giacometti, third in the Ballysax Stakes (Ire-G3) April 13 at Leopardstown in his prior start, finished third, another three-quarters of a length back.
"He dug deep, but I was not too worried during the last stages," said winning owner-breeder the Aga Khan. "Christophe Soumillon has always thought a lot of this horse and he’s a very good judge. He has always kept something to counter the attacks and the horse responded well."
Although the Aga did not want to commit himself regarding Dalakhani’s Derby prospects, he said it would make sense to gear him toward the French Derby.
Dalahkani is out of the stakes-winning Miswaki mare Daltawa, who has also produced Group 1-placed stakes winner Daymarti.
Clodovil shows talent in fast-paced French Two Thousand Guineas
Soumillon partnered with the Lagardere family’s homebred Clodovil in the French Two Thousand Guineas to take the one-mile classic by one length in 1:36.40. The gray son of Danehill took the lead one furlong out while Catcher in the Rye, another son of Danehill, trained by Aidan O’Brien, finished like a train in second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of brave pacesetter Krataios.
"Last time, he did not get the credit he deserved in the Prix de Fontainebleau (Fr-G3) [on April 20 at Longchamp, winning by a neck] because of the lack of pace, but we were confident that he would be even better suited by a fast pace. He showed it today and could go for the St. James’s Palace’s Stakes (Eng-G1) [on June 17] at Royal Ascot."
As for Catcher in the Rye, co-owner Michael Tabor said that he could go for the Irish Guineas Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-G1) on May 24 at the Curragh.
Bred in Ireland, Clodovil is the only winner from two starters out of the Group 2-winning Linamix mare Clodora. Notable family members include stakes winner and leading Brazilian sire Falkland.
Soumillion rings in One Thousand Guineas with Musical Chimes
The fillies’ version of the French Guineas ended up in a sketchy race when the Wertheimer brothers’ Kentucky-bred Acago almost went down two furlongs out when trying to find a gap behind leader Fidelio’s Miracle and Etoile Montante.
Meanwhile, Maiden Tower, who had taken the lead early, was trying to fly away from the field. In the bumpy stage, Kentucky-bred Musical Chimes and Soumillon were the luckiest ones when a large gap opened in front of them. The filly responded well and went on for a one-length victory over Maiden Tower with Etoile Montante finishing third. Time was 1:36.
Representing winning owner-breeder, Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum, sponsor of the French Guineas with Gainsborough Stud, Michael Goodbody hinted that the filly’s future could be on dirt in the United States, while the winning trainer, Andre Fabre, who scored the French Guineas double, said: "I was very confident. She’s a big filly, very athletic, and she always showed she obviously needed time to come to herself but she has never been disappointing."
The daughter of In Excess (Ire) entered the classic off a two-length victory at Longchamp on April 20. The Guineas win represented her second triumph in six career starts in two seasons.
Musical Chimes is the only starter from three foals out of the unraced Sadler’s Wells mare Note Musicale (GB), a daughter of champion It’s In the Air. Other notable members of the immediate family include Group 1 winner Storming Home (GB).—Emmanuel Roussel