Frankie Dettori and German raider Alson dominated Aidan O’Brien’s Armory in a straight shootout for the Criterium International at ParisLongchamp.
Just four runners were declared for the seven-furlong Group One – and the field was halved after O’Brien took Wichita out and Joseph O’Brien’s Lady Penelope was withdrawn at the start after getting upset in the stalls.
That resulted in a rematch between Alson and Armory, with the pair having finished second and third respectively behind the Andre Fabre-trained Victor Ludorum in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at the same track three weeks ago.
Armory bounced out in front in the hands of trainer’s son Donnacha, but Dettori soon allowed Jean-Pierre Carvalho’s Alson to stride to the lead and steadily raised the tempo.
There was little to choose between the pair rounding the home turn, but Armory was the the first to crack and once given his head, even-money favourite Alson fairly shot clear, passing the post 20 lengths clear to provide Dettori with his 19th top-level success of 2019.
Dettori told Sky Sports Racing: “It was bad luck for the filly that got upset in the stalls, but my horse really likes soft ground and ran a great race in the Lagardere.
“We came here with a winning chance, unfortunately there were only two runners but he could only do his best.”
He added: “I was happy to get a lead, in the Lagardere I was in front as there was no pace – I tried to get Donnacha to lead me, but it (pace) wasn’t fast enough, so I had to go – I know he stays and he likes the ground and he had the race won at halfway.
“I know there were only two runners, but to win a Group One still counts, it’s still difficult. He’s got a good future, perhaps he could come back here for the Poule d’Essai (des Poulains, French 2000 Guineas) next year.”