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Avenir Certain scoops Prix de Diane at Chantilly

Updated: Sunday, 15 Jun 2014 16:19 | Comments

Avenir Certain surged late on to take the Prix de Diane
Avenir Certain surged late on to take the Prix de Diane

Avenir Certain completed a French Classic double when swooping wide and late in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly.

In what looked an open but high-class renewal of the French Oaks, Jean-Claude Rouget's unbeaten filly was considered a leading player after her impressive victory in the Guineas at Longchamp five weeks earlier.

With the Newmarket 1000 Guineas winner Miss France failing to find room and the highly-touted Shamkala not picking up as anticipated, Gregory Benoist flew past the field in the closing stages ahead of surprise package grey Amour A Papa.

It is not infrequent for horses to win both races and Avenir Certain joins some illustrious names like Golden Lilac, Divine Proportions and the great Zarkava.

Miss France's expected pacesetter Local Hero bustled past Bawina to lead them along, but the latter was still in a bold position to aim for glory at the top of the straight.

Maxime Guyon and the Andre Fabre-trained Miss France was angled into position but simply could not get out when he wanted and she was quickly swamped by the pack.

Shamkala, who had looked a star in the making when landing her first three starts, did not dazzle in the same way this time and passed the line alongside Xcellence in a photo for third and fourth.

Avenir Certain's winning distance was a length, with Xcellence third and Shamkala fourth.

Miss France eventually dead-heated with Ball Dancing for fifth spot.

GUARDINI CLAIMS PRIX DU LYS

Christophe Soumillon produced another of his immaculate front-running rides in the Prix du Lys.

The confident Belgian was aboard Guardini, for German-based Jean-Pierre Carvalho, who had narrowly lost his unbeaten record at Longchamp a month earlier.

Soumillon gradually turned the screw on his rivals but, in the end, he only just thwarted the lunging Teletext and the Jeff Smith-owned Norse Prize.

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