/ Racing

Byword has final say in Prince of Wales's Stakes

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Jun 2010 21:49

Maxime Guyon rode a superb race on French raider Byword
Maxime Guyon rode a superb race on French raider Byword

French riding sensation Maxime Guyon ensured his home nation again struck lucky on day two of Royal Ascot as Andre Fabre's Byword led home a one-two for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

France may have made a sluggish start to the World Cup, but they certainly made their presence felt at the most quintessentially English of meetings as Byword followed up Goldikova's success 24 hours earlier.

Form students would have spotted that Byword had finished hot on the heels of the mare last time out, and that piece of form made sure of his position as the 5-2 favourite.

Although confident of securing his seventh Royal win, Fabre revealed his only worry lay in his young jockey, with the 21-year-old not having previously ridden in England.

But the 21-times French champion trainer need not have expressed any doubt as Guyon had Byword in a perfect position throughout, settling matters when pressing for home over a furlong out.

Henry Cecil's Twice Over came charging from deep inside the field as the line loomed, but Byword had already stolen a march and held on by half a length.

Reflecting on France's two wins this week, Fabre, who also landed the Prince of Wales's with Manduro three years ago, said: ‘Things go in cycles. It is like rugby - we win the Six Nations and then get slammed by South Africa.

‘Royal Ascot is the best in the world. The races are run at a good pace which they aren't always in France.’

Byword has taken a significant step forward this summer, and Fabre continued: ‘I knew he had the ability to win and I was impressed by the ride as I was fearful he could get boxed in.

‘He has matured. He wasn't trained much at three because he had a virus and now he is really coming to himself.

‘You could call him a revelation as his form as a three-year-old was not at that level, but we have always thought he is a really good horse.’

Although given quotes of around 10-1 for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, a race which Fabre has farmed out over the years, he dismissed this year's renewal for the four-year-old.

‘He is a horse that can go for the big mile races, he won't go further than 10 furlongs. Maybe something like the Prix Jacques le Marois next,’ said Fabre.

‘I am not sure he can stay further and although the Arc is a long way off it has to be a doubt.

‘He needs good ground, too, and is unlikely to get that in Paris in October.’

Fabre was also seen shaking Cecil's hand before the mile-and-a-quarter event, and revealed: ‘I asked him to tell Twice Over not to bump my horse as Byword is a dwarf compared to Twice Over.’

Guyon's only childhood link to racing came through his mother working in a PMU cafe but he has made giant strides this summer with his Royal Ascot win following on from his first Classic victories in the French 2000 Guineas and the French Derby.

The jockey said: ‘I'm absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to ride here by Mr Fabre, I never thought it would happen.

‘I was apprehensive as I never ridden here but I was not very nervous.

‘I did walk the track and watch a few videos as I had not been here before and it is different to other tracks.’

Fabre added of Guyon: ‘He has nerves and he is young, which I always like.

‘He rides all the horses at home and knows what they want and he doesn't use his whip a lot, which I like.

‘I like talent and he has everything. He walked the course, watched videos and I called him three times but he is laid back and rode an ideal race.’

Twice Over was beaten a little over half a length into fourth in this race 12 months ago, and Cecil said: ‘He got blocked in and couldn't get out, and then he was too far back. He ran a super race but it wasn't enough.

‘It was such a mess of a race that he was taken too far back. I hope we'll go to the Champion Stakes, but that's up to the Prince.’

The result was another proud moment for Prince Khalid Abdullah just two weeks after Workforce's Derby triumph.

His racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, said: ‘I am really pleased, especially as they are homebreds and the Prince will be hugely pleased.’