Andre Fabre’s Munitions just held off Graignes in the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte – where Mark Johnston’s Marie’s Diamond could only finish fifth.
Winner of his first two starts last season, Munitions was then beaten twice in Listed company – most recently behind Mick Channon’s Barbill.
Marie’s Diamond attempted to make all the running under Ioritz Mendizabal but was passed with a furlong to run by Mickael Barzalona on the eventual winner.
Graignes came with a late challenge and appeared to have poked his nose in front – indeed the provisional result said so, but after a long delay the official verdict went instead by the narrowest margin to the Godolphin-owned colt.
Lisa-Jane Graffard, representing Godolphin, said: “Mickael was pretty sure he’d been caught on the line, so it was a nice surprise.
“He’s unbeaten at Maisons-Laffitte – and while he’s been workmanlike in his wins, he stands up to training and running well, so now he’s ready to go into battle.
“It’s too early to say where he’ll go next. There’d be a question mark about him stepping up to a mile, but we’ll see what happens.”
In the fillies trial, the Prix Imprudence, Christophe Soumillon produced Watch Me with a late challenge to claim the Group Three honours and prevent Fabre taking both feature races.
Winner of a Listed race in heavy ground at Toulouse in November, Watch Me handled much quicker conditions with aplomb to beat Fabre’s Frankel filly Suphala.
There was a lengthy debate by the stewards regarding the course the winner took, but Francis Graffard’s Olympic Glory filly kept the race.
The winning trainer told Sky Sports Racing: “You never like it when the stewards take so long, but I was confident she’d keep the race.
“She’s a filly I’ve always liked. She wasn’t 100 per cent first time out – but she came on a lot, so I took her to a Listed race and she won comfortably.
“She’s done really well over the winter. She’d been working nicely, so I was hopeful today.
“The owner is very keen to go to the Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) – and having won that, there’s no reason not to go.”
Fabre also had to settle for second in the Listed Prix Jacques Laffitte as his Mer Et Nuages was just denied by Danceteria for trainer David Menuisier – returning to his homeland to claim a nice prize.
Ridden by Maxime Guyon, the four-year-old was well fancied for the Cambridgeshire last season – in which he finished ninth behind Wissahickon