Van Gogh produced an impressive burst of speed to win the Group 1 Criterium International for Aidan O’Brien at Saint-Cloud.
Pierre-Charles Boudot had Van Gogh anchored last of the six-runner field until making swift progress into the straight and bagging the rail position on the stands side.
On his seventh start of a busy campaign, O’Brien’s American Pharoah colt then quickly put distance between himself and the rest – and at the post the 3/1 shot had four lengths in hand from rallying long-time leader Normandy Bridge.
Van Gogh appeared to relish the heavy ground on his first attempt at the top level, going one better than when second to One Ruler in Newmarket’s Group 3 Autumn Stakes.
Winning jockey Boudot told Sky Sports Racing: “He is impressive. Aidan told me before the race that he needed cover, for a nice trip and be relaxed – and he has a nice turn of foot.
“But he is still green and tricky when he arrived in front – but he won in very good style.”
Van Gogh was previously a runner-up at Group 2 and Group 3 level in Ireland.
Among those behind him this time were two British challengers – and fellow 9/4 joint-favourites – Simon and Ed Crisford’s Jadoomi (third) and Charlie Appleby’s previously unbeaten La Barrosa, who dead-heated for fifth and last.