ALBIGNA bounced back to winning ways with an ultimately clear-cut success in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp.
Jessica Harrington’s charge had looked every inch a top-class filly in the making after winning a maiden and the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh earlier the season.
The Niarchos family-owned juvenile disappointed when strongly fancied for the Moyglare Stud Stakes three weeks ago, but was later found to be in season.
This one-mile contest presented the daughter of Zoffany with a second chance to grab Group 1 glory, and while she was under pressure in the hands of Shane Foley before the home turn, she responded admirably to her rider’s urgings.
Marieta looked likely to claim top honours after pulling clear of the field, but she tired late on in the testing conditions and 4/1 shot Albigna eventually reeled her in to win with something to spare. Andre Fabre’s previously unbeaten favourite Savarin was well-beaten.
Harrington said: “I wasn’t really confident beforehand as she has only run on good and good to firm ground, so we were going into the unknown. I was really not that confident going into today, but she showed the real Albigna that we see at home.
“I’ve only seen it the once and I thought she wasn’t travelling that great, but Shane said afterwards that she likes to find her feet, which she did in her first two races. In the Moyglare she ran a bit free and was found to be in season afterwards.
“It is wonderful to win this race and I’m grateful to the Niarchos family for sending me these beautifully-bred yearlings – after the year we had last year with Alpha Centauri I didn’t think I’d possibly have a year like this with the two-year-old fillies.
“I would imagine so (Guineas filly), she gets the mile well and she is a big filly and I’d imagine she would stay further than a mile.
“This is a ‘win and you’re in’ for the Breeders’ Cup and I know that it is very close to the heart of Maria (Niarchos), the Breeders’ Cup, so we will talk about that after the dust has settled here.
“I would say she is probably top of the pecking order (of the stable’s fillies) as she stayed the mile so she looks more like a classic filly.”
RaceBets, Betfair and Coral all cut Harrington’s charge to 14/1 from 25/1 for next year’s 1000 Guineas.