Flotilla (right) flies through with a well-timed run under Christophe LemairePICTURE: Getty
Flotilla flies home for another big success
Report: France, Sunday
Longchamp: Poule d’Essai des Pouliche (Group 1) 1m, 3yo fillies
FLOTILLA, a winner at last year's Breeders' Cup, came late and fast to grab glory in this French 1,000 Guineas.
Mikel Delzangles' filly, a 13-1 shot, thrived off a blistering gallop set by stablemate Sage Melody and, under a perfectly timed run by Christophe Lemaire, ran down Esoterique from the Andre Fabre stable in the shadow of the post.
Fabre also picked up third spot with Tasaday with the Richard Hannon-trained Zurigha bagging fourth spot.
Back in November at Santa Anita Flotilla took top honours in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, a race that featured another 1,000 Guineas winner in Sky Lantern, who was an unlucky-in-running eighth.
On that occasion Flotilla thrived on the decent ground and a fast gallop, and although conditions weren't as quick here, the pace they went enabled the daughter of Mizzen to use her potent turn of foot when it mattered most.
Credit must go to the Delzangles team. Their tactics for a fast-run race worked a treat. It allowed Lemaire to bide his time on his mount and wait for a gap to come. It is a rare luxury at a track like Longchamp, especially in a 20-runner field, as was the case here. But speed pays at this course and it paid here.
"She still had plenty of petrol coming into the straight and I followed Esoterique," said Lemaire. "She was obviously going well but I was really going well.
"Just like in last season's Breeders' Cup she went after the win, which takes a lot of class against a horse which has had the benefit of a run."
Andre Fabre was denied a fourth success in this fillies' Classic, but both his runners ran crackers with Esoterique unfortunate to bump into one so classy as Flotilla.
It was a good run too from Zurigha in fourth and from Ralph Beckett's Waterway Run, who was just a few places further back in sixth, though in truth it never looked like it was going to be an away victory.