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Barzalona takes Longchamp plaudits

16 April 2018

In an afternoon dominated by a trio of prep races for the classics, Mickaël Barzalona will have left ParisLongchamp a happy man after claiming the first race of the day followed by two of the big prizes.
First up was the Gr.3 Prix de Fontainebleau, an important lead-up to the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, with Wootton maintaining his unbeaten run to impose courageously from the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Olmedo who pushed the eventual winner hard in the final furlong. Louis d’Or ran in for third a further 3½ lengths away.
Barzalona had his way again an hour later in the fillies’ equivalent, the Gr.3 Prix de la Grotte, guiding the well-bred Musis Amica to a facile 1¼ lengths victory over Freddy Head’s Sea Prose, confirming her victory in a debutante’e event late last year. Unlike the Fontainebleau winner whom they purchased after winning first time out, Godolphin bred the André Fabre-trained filly and now appear to have a serious contender for next month’s classic.
Last heat on the programme was the Gr.3 Prix Noailles, frequently a good indicator for the Prix du Jockey-Club, and although open to the fairer sex seldom attracts any fillies. This year’s edition was a tight affair with 16/1 shot Pharrell taking the lead 300m out and tenaciously holding off the attacks of the well-supported Alhadab and race-favourite, Flag Of Honour. Jean-Claude Rouget, who had not won this race since 2009, was clearly impressed. “I liked him a lot today. He was very well balanced and I am thrilled by his performance.”
Picture: Prix de la Grotte winner Musis Amica