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Close calls in the french Guineas’

13 May 2018

The French classic season got under way on a somewhat slippery surface at ParisLongchamp on Sunday with both the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and Pouliches producing the tightest of finishes.
The colts’ version was first up on the programme and duly offered spectators quite a display. Heavily backed Ballydoyle raider, U S Navy Flag, gave Ryan Moore a scare when stumbling after just 600m but regained his composure and looked to have every chance as both he and James Tate’s Hey Gaman entered the stretch. Cristian Demuro had looked after Prix de Fontainebleau runner-up, Olmedo, for much of the race and had a lot of ground to make up on the leaders but the he was closing the gap with every stride. Dice Roll entered the picture late and looked a serious contender, but Jean-Claude Rouget’s colt had the field’s measure with 50m to run and held off Hey Gaman by a neck, with Dice Roll just a nose behind in third.
Following concerns over the ground, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches was switched to the outer course but this made little difference to Olivier Peslier who guided the unbeaten 12/1 shot, Teppal, to a narrow but assured victory. Forced to go out wide in order to get a run, Peslier took his filly to the front with 200m left to race and after a barrage of challenges, she held on bravely to deny Prix Imprudence winner Coeur De Beauté by a short-neck. Wind Chimes finished a head behind to take third.
Picture: English raider Teppal winning the Pouliches under an inspired Olivier Peslier