/ Racing

Avenir Certain remains unbeaten after Poule d'Essai Des Pouliches success

Updated: Monday, 12 May 2014 13:43 | Comments

Gregory Benoist punches the air after guiding Avenir Certain to Classic glory
Gregory Benoist punches the air after guiding Avenir Certain to Classic glory

Avenir Certain was produced with a devastating late run by Gregory Benoist to claim an impressive victory in the Poule d'Essai Des Pouliches at Longchamp.

But there was an anxious wait for connections before the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained 74-10 shot was confirmed the winner after a lengthy stewards' inquiry quickly, with the placings ultimately remaining unaltered.

There was plenty of British interest in the one-mile Classic, with Brian Meehan's Fred Darling Stakes heroine J Wonder reopposed by Marco Botti's Newbury runner-up Al Thakhira.

Charlie Hills also sent Queen Catrine across the Channel and Rae Guest was represented by four-times winner Cape Factor.

Queen Catrine was smartly away in the hands of Jamie Spencer and led the field for much of the journey, with J Wonder seemingly well positioned in the hands of Christophe Lemaire only a few lengths further back.

As Queen Catrine faltered, J Wonder came with what looked a serious challenge on the far side of the track, but it was to be short lived.

Avenir Certain, unbeaten in three previous appearances, showed thrilling acceleration in the rain-softened ground to claim Classic glory in comprehensive fashion.

Veda and Xcellence finished second and third respectively, but favourite Lesstalk In Paris, a stablemate of the winner, was unable to land a telling blow.

Al Thakhira was not helped by her wide draw in the hands of Frankie Dettori and failed to get involved after getting shuffled back rounding the home turn.

Cape Factor was also well beaten, as was Aidan O'Brien's challenger Wonderfully.

Rouget said: "I was quite relaxed watching this race. When they came out of the bend I saw a spot of blue coming on the outside. At that moment I knew we would win.

"Lesstalk In Paris didn't really fire when the opening came. Maybe she didn't run her race."

Benoist said: "I was worried about the ground for her.

"But she produced a great turn of foot. She is as talented as she is courageous."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip