ONLY 24 hours after his jaw-dropping assault on Rossa Ryan during a Saint-Cloud juvenile Group 3 won by the promising unbeaten O’Brien/Coolmore Japanese-bred colt Continuous, Christophe Soumillon was tight-lipped about the incident that brought him a two-month ban.
He let his riding do the talking aboard Erevann in the Group 2 Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein, diving down to the inside rail that had been shunned by the rest of the field on the home bend.
The manoeuvre cut out the possibility of the hot favourite getting boxed in and he quickened up smartly to score by a length and a half.
Beautifully bred (by Dubawi out of the dual Group 1 victrix Ervedya) by his owner, the Aga Khan, Erevann has been brought on steadily by trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and sidestepped the classic races this spring.
His one career defeat, when finally allowed to dine at the top table for the first time in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville, showed his potential, as he finished a superb third, just half a length behind the champion three-year-old filly Inspiral.
He will not run again this season but is to remain in training next year, Rouget earmarking the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot as his first big target.
Still a force
Francis Graffard’s The Revenant proved he is still a force at the age of seven by adding a second runner-up finish to the two victories he has achieved in this race. He will now have a fourth tilt at the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot next week too – his record there is a win, a second and a fourth.
Saturday’s other two Group 2 races were both exported across the Channel and provided a fantastic double for the Derrinstown Stud stallion Awtaad after a pair of thrilling finishes brought his progeny narrow victories over horses sporting the blue and white Wertheimer brothers silks.
In the nine-furlong, 165-yard Qatar Prix Dollar, Anmaat looked set to have to give best to Junko only to fight back and beat his younger rival by a head.
This was another advertisement for the training talents of Owen Burrows, who has landed so many big races with his small string this term, including the John Smith’s Cup and the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes with this gelding, who will be coming back for more next season at the age of five.
Willingness to fight was also the key attribute displayed by Karl Burke’s Al Qareem in the mile-and-seven-furlong Group 2 Qatar Prix Chaudenay.
Challenged on both sides by Wertheimer-owned colts, he simply refused to give in and prevailed by a nose from Sober.
Dermot Weld’s Duke Of Sessa was set plenty to do by Christophe Soumillon before rattling home in third place and may have been a trifle unlucky.