One Master won the Prix de la Foret for a third successive year for William Haggas.
The six-year-old mare was having her sixth run of a busy season – but Haggas has always been at pains to stress the one race he wanted to win above all others was the seven-furlong Group One on Arc weekend.
A surprise winner in 2018, the daughter of Fastnet Rock has gone on to prove her versatility and toughness since then, finishing second in Group Ones over a mile and six furlongs.
However, there is no doubt over which trip she truly excels – and given the Foret is the only Group One over seven furlongs in Europe, to win it three years in a row is a special achievement.
Andre Fabre’s Earthlight, a star juvenile last year, made her pull out all the stops, but Pierre-Charles Boudot, full of confidence having just won the Prix de l’Abbaye on Wooded, got her home in the nick of time, just as he had done the two years previously.
Earthlight was a game second, with John Quinn’s consistent Safe Voyage losing little in defeat in a close-up third.
Haggas told Sky Sports Racing: “We are very proud of her. She is a fantastic filly and she seems to come good over this track and trip.
“Any ground is good for her, but she is particularly good on soft ground and she was given another brilliant ride by Pierre-Charles.
“She had to battle it out today, but she did it. If you are going to win by a neck, she won OK – an OK neck.
“She is very laid back and knows how to race. This time of year she seems to come good and we haven’t missed a beat this year. She had run in every race we wanted to and I’m thrilled for everyone here.
“She’ll have another run, I suppose, if she’s OK, I don’t know. She’s in at Ascot and I quite fancy he Breeders’ Cup in Keeneland this year for her.”
He added: “The last horse to win two Forets was Moorestyle, who was ridden by Maureen’s (Haggas, wife) father (Lester Piggott) and trained by her uncle (Robert Armstrong). For this filly to do this is pretty unique.
“It was very sad the big filly (Enable) couldn’t win three Arcs, but this was a good feat in itself to do three Forets and as it’s not been done before I expect it will take some doing to beat it.”