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Aidan O'Brien's Excelebration won the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville under Christophe Soumillon

Updated: Sunday, 12 Aug 2012 15:36 | Comments

Excelebration (l) got a break from chasing Frankel home as he landed the featured Jacques le Marois under Christophe Soumillon
Excelebration (l) got a break from chasing Frankel home as he landed the featured Jacques le Marois under Christophe Soumillon

Excelebration took advantage of a Group One with no Frankel in opposition by landing the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville for Aidan O'Brien and late substitute Christophe Soumillon.

Having chased home Frankel in no less the four Group Ones, O'Brien decided to avoid another clash with the greatest horse in the world in the Sussex Stakes and head to France instead.

It was no soft touch, however, with nine individual Group One winners in the race. John Gosden supplied two of those in Fallen For You and Elusive Kate, and it was the latter who tried to make all.

Cityscape loomed up as a danger, with Soumillon hard at work on Excelebration, but as they entered the final furlong the Irish runner began to pick up and O'Brien's four-year-old was well on top at the line.

Cityscape was just over a length away in second, with Elusive Kate just holding on for third from the fast-finishing Moonlight Cloud.

Caspar Netscher ran a blinder in a close fifth. Brian Meehan's St James's Palace winner Most Improved was disappointing.

Ryan Moore had been due to ride Excelebration but was stood down by the racecourse doctor after a fall earlier in the day.

O'Brien was absent, but Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock said after speaking to Coolmore: "He is in the Moulin and the QEII and I think one or other, or both, is next on the horizon for him.

"He's in all the top mile races worldwide."

"It was a fantastic chance ride to get. I feel very sorry for Ryan as he was telling me before his fall that he thought the horse would win" - Christophe Soumillon

Trainer Roger Charlton said of Cityscape: "We've been beaten by a plainly better horse today, but it was a brave effort and he galloped all the way to the line.

"We can't be anything other than pleased, and now anything is possible. Ascot (Champions Day) would be a target, depending on what Frankel does.

"If Frankel sticks to a mile and a quarter we would go for the QEII."
His rider James Doyle said: "I was lucky enough to be able to ease him out from the rail and give him a bit of room. I couldn't fault the ground and the horse felt good."

Alan McCabe tweeted of Caspar Netscher: "What an absolute superstar. Couldn't be happier with Caspar if he'd won - ran an absolute blinder. Deserves a Group 1. Soon."

Meehan said of Most Improved: "Something has gone wrong, but he's jogged up sound afterwards. It will be interesting to see what the film reveals."

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