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Persian King Wins Prix du Moulin

07 September 2020

The G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (1600m) was always going to be a fascinating strategic contest regards riding tactics. From the stalls opening, it was clear plenty of thought and consideration had been given by each competitor as to how the race featuring just six previous Group One winners engaged would play out.  

Before the start both Siskin and Victor Ludorum proved difficult to load into the gates. When the starter said ‘go’ both horses missed the barrier break and were immediately at the tail of the field.   

On the other hand, Circus Maximus jumped cleanly, went straight to the lead and along with Persian King applied ‘catch me if you can’ tactics. At the end of 400m both horses had raced clear and began to stretch the field to fifteen lengths from first to last.   

At the top of the home straight, and racing off the fence, Circus Maximus’s lead was being reduced.  He was now only two lengths in front of Persian King with the rest of the field beginning to close. Persian King raced to the lead along the inside at the 300m and drew clear. Race favourite Pinatubo continued to give chase but the post loomed and was held by one and three quarter lengths when the judge called a halt.   

This was a second Group One victory for Persian King this season having previously won the Prix d’Ispahan (1800m) at Chantilly in July. The other Group One victory over 1600m at Longchamp was scored in the Classic Poule d’Essai des Poulains in May 2019.   

Persian King holds an entry in both the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) and the G1 Champions Stakes at Ascot.   

The race confirmed 2020 as a vintage year for exceptional ‘milers’ competing in France.   

Craon conducted the weekend meetings of their three consecutive day annual festival. All three racing codes – trotting, flat and jumping – were well represented across the twenty-four races on offer and – uniquely – all races were conducted on turf/grass.  

The feature trotting race was the final of the G3 Trophy Vert series for 2020. With qualifying rounds held at leading grass racetracks throughout the provinces, the heats were classified as Grade A contests with the final receiving a Black-Type classification at G3. This is the only Group grass race globally for trotting.   

Going into the race Duel du Gers was always going to be the horse to beat having won his previous four races – all qualifying races for this event. After success in the final, he remains undefeated on grass and is trained and driven by Mathieu Abrivard.   

For owner Jean-Michel Rancule the victory completed a memorable weekend as not only is he the owner of Duel du Gers but also Cleangame, winner of the G2 Prix d'Eté at Vincennes on Saturday. This was the geldings’ third successive Group Two victory. The eight-year-old has now won thirty-six races from fifty-six starts and prizemoney just under 1.4m.   


Picture: © APHR Persian King winning the Prix Du Muguet