Classic aim for Simeen after cosy Chantilly success

Rouget runner takes Pistole prize in style.

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Simeen booked her ticket for next month’s Poule d’Essai des Pouliches with a last-to-first win in the Prix de la Pistole at Chantilly on Wednesday.

Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget and ridden by Christophe Soumillon, Simeen was unbeaten in two juvenile starts but was taking a step up in company in this mile heat.

However, she prevailed in style, with Soumillon content to sit at the back of the six-runner field before switching wide to deliver Simeen in the final furlong.

The Lope De Vega filly needed only the minimum of encouragement to get her head in front at the line, beating Golden Crown by a short neck.

Betfair make Simeen the 5-1 second favourite for next month’s fillies’ Classic behind Tropbeau, who was a winner at ParisLongchamp on Monday.

George Rimaud, manager of owner the Aga Khan’s French studs, said: “Obviously I wasn’t there, but I have spoken to her trainer, he was very happy with her run and she will now be aimed at the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches in three weeks’ time on June 1.

“We’re very pleased, she’s still unbeaten and she seemed to have an easy win today. We couldn’t expect anything better, so we are pleased.”

French racing only resumed on Monday following the coronavirus shutdown, with strict hygiene measures and limited personnel in place at every track.

Rimaud is pleased to see the sport quickly adapt to the new protocols, adding: “The most important thing for everyone was to get racing back on.

“It’s been well organised and well managed. It’s been three days now and there have been no issues.”

Wooded showed his rivals a clean pair of heels as he ran out a comprehensive winner of the Prix Texanita.

Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard, Wooded had won one of his four juvenile outings but showed plenty of promise in placing twice at Group Three level.

The Wootton Bassett colt returned in that class, with Pierre-Charles Boudot sticking with the bigger group on the far side of the track as two of the 13 runners opted to race up the stands side.

My Love’s Passion headed that duo and he was in front early in the six-furlong heat until Wooded came with a strong challenge and kicked on to win by three and a half lengths from Alocasia, with My Love’s Passion in third.

Boudot had earlier struck on Hurricane Ivor, who made a thoroughly impressive return to action when making every yard in the Prix des Veneurs.

Fabrice Chappet’s charge ran out a seven-and-a-half-length winner at this track on his debut last May before finishing well beaten when sent off favourite for a Group Three heat next time.

Off the track since that outing last June, Hurricane Ivor shrugged off his lengthy absence as he broke sharply and proceeded to set the gallop over six furlongs.

He had plenty of his rivals in trouble with a couple of furlongs to run and eventually pulled three and a half lengths clear at the line.

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