TWO years on from Classic disappointment, Francois Rohaut was celebrating as Lucayan came out on top in a desperately tight finish to the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, |the French 2000 Guineas, at Longchamp.
In 2010, Rohaut had seen Liliside beat Special Duty in the fillies’ equivalent, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, only for his charge to be demoted to sixth in the stewards’ room.
This time things went his way, not least as the much-vaunted Dabirsim did himself no favours by racing keen early on for Christophe Soumillon and suffered serious traffic problems when squeezed just over two furlongs out.
Soumillon gathered his mount to challenge again as his pacemaker Veneto gallantly stuck to his guns in front, but looked to be just running out of petrol as he was again tightened up.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Furner’s Green absolutely flew from the rear under Joseph O’Brien, finishing better than anything, but had to settle for third with Veneto second.
There was a sad postscript, however, as Furner’s Green had to be put down after breaking a leg passing the winning post, catapulting his rider to the ground.
O’Brien senior said: “Furner’s Green broke his off-fore and he had to be put down.
“Joseph is OK – when a horse goes down at that speed, it could have been much worse.”
Rohaut said of the Stephane Pasquier-ridden winner: “I always believed he was capable of winning this.The others were unlucky on the inside, but that is racing. Two years ago we lost this race, today we won it.”
Elie Lellouche’s Beauty Parlour maintained her unbeaten record with a stylish success in this year’s Pouliches. Settled in sixth place by Soumillon, the daughter of Deep Impact made smooth progress to hit the |front a furlong-and-a-half out and was always holding the O’Brien-trained Up, who ran a big race in second.