Wednesday 25 April 2018

Lilac blossoms in French Oaks as Fabre strikes with four-timer

Thomas Kelly

GOLDEN Lilac maintained her unbeaten record with another Classic victory for Andre Fabre in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) at Chantilly yesterday.

Continuing a fine year for the Epsom Derby-winning trainer, the Galileo filly followed up her French 1,000 Guineas win in pleasing style.

Dispelling stamina doubts over the extended 10-furlong trip, the 2/1 shot weaved through the pack in the hands of a confident Maxime Guyon to lead over a furlong out.

Immediately challenged by Glorious Sight, she was always holding Robert Collet's filly, and had enough in hand as the 11/8 favourite Galikova got going too late to seriously trouble her, despite being a close second in the end.

The Freddie Head-trained half-sister to 13-times Group and Grade One winner Goldikova looked as though she would be better suited by a mile and a half.

Fabre and Guyon went on to record a four-timer.

Mutual Trust took the Prix Paul de Moussac, before more success followed with Kreem, which pipped Germany's Ibicento in the Prix du Lys. The four-timer was completed by Byword's cosy victory in the Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord.

Meanwhile, Aidan O'Brien was out of luck in New York on Saturday when Ruler On Ice sprang a 24/1 surprise in the Belmont Stakes.

The winner showed tremendous courage down the straight to fend off fellow outsiders Stay Thirsty and Brilliant Speed as O'Brien's Master Of Hounds finished a well-beaten 10th of the 12 runners.

In the Grade One Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap, O'Brien's Viscount Nelson finished eighth behind Mission Approved.

Irish Independent

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