Victor Ludorum rules supreme in French 2000 Guineas

Dream And Do proves best in thrilling renewal of fillies’ equivalent.

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Victor Ludorum bounced back from a shock defeat to take Classic gold in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Deauville on Monday.

Andre Fabre’s charge could finish only third behind The Summit and Ecrivain in the Prix de Fontainebleau, but he turned that form around in style in the French equivalent of the 2000 Guineas.

Mickael Barzalona had just one rival behind him for the first half of the race as Reshabar set the pace over a straight mile, and the Godolphin-owned colt did not look to be travelling that well initially.

However, he soon found his stride and when Barzalona switched him out to make his challenge with around a furlong and a half to run, the response was impressive.

The son of Shamardal was soon in top gear and he flew by The Summit to win by an eased-down length and a half, with fellow Fabre runner Alson a further neck back in third.

Barzalona said: “His last race did him a lot of good – that is now behind him. He cantered down to the start beautifully, even though we had to go the full mile!

“He can be difficult in the preliminaries before the race, but once the stalls open, he is a complete professional.

“He was very switched off during the race. I wanted to ride him the way that suited him. Initially I had intended to go forward, but he was in his rhythm and progressed in his own time. He never wins by huge distances, but I had plenty left in hand.

“He moved easily, and with a great action. He knows how to gallop!

A tilt at the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) now looks to be on the agenda for Victor Ludorum.

Lisa-Jane Graffard, Godolphin’s representative in France, said on “We are delighted with the performance of Victor Ludorum, who left his comeback run in the Prix de Fontainebleau behind him and showed his best form.

“The Prix du Jockey Club has always been Plan A for Victor Ludorum and we will see how he comes out of this race before confirming his next target. I am sure that Andre Fabre will want a chance to assess the horse over the coming days and discuss it with Sheikh Mohammed.”

Tropbeau could not make it a big-race double for Fabre and Barzalona as she could finish only fourth in a thrilling renewal of the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.

Fabre’s charge was settled in fourth, with stablemate Tickle Me Green giving her a nice tow into the race as Marieta tried to make all.

Tropbeau looked perfectly positioned to launch her challenge at the business end of the race, but she found little as Dream And Do and Speak Of The Devil pulled away.

That pair were neck and neck in the dying strides, with Dream And Do just edging it on the line in a photo for trainer Frederic Rossi and jockey Maxime Guyon.

The winning handler was notching up a first Group One win and said: “Deauville racecourse brings me a lot of luck! I love coming here.

“This is very emotional as it is my first Group One.

“Dream And Do is a champion. Every time she runs, the race goes like a dream. The mile is her maximum distance, and Maxime Guyon rode her to perfection.

“I will talk to her owner, but I don’t think that she will run in the Prix de Diane Longines. We don’t want to risk her.”

Guyon added: “I am so happy! Last time out in the Prix de la Grotte, it was me who lost us the race as I came too soon on her. A mile is her maximum distance. She has a huge turn of foot.”

Victor Ludorum rules supreme in French 2000 Guineas
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