Cristian Demuro celebrates as he crossed the line on La CressonnierePICTURE: ScoopDyga
La Cressonniere denies Nathra to land Pouliches
Report: Deauville, Sunday
Poule d'Essai Des Pouliches (Group 1) 1m, 3yo fillies
LA CRESSONNIERE maintained her unbeaten record and held off the late charge of the John Gosden-trained Nathra to take Classic honours.
Ridden by Cristian Demuro, La Cressonniere was always prominent and took up the running around two furlong from home.
A battalion of fillies, including British raider Besharah and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Alice Springs, lined up behind to challenge but none could pass La Cressoniere, who provided her trainer Jean-Claude Rouget with a third successive win in the Classic.
Rouget full of praise
Jean-Claude Rouget was naturally thrilled with the effort of La Cressonniere, who now looks set to head to Chantilly for the Group 1 Prix de Diane on June 19.
"It isn't easy from stall one and she never had any cover but when they are that good they can do it all," he said. "She has the pedigree to stay, is very easy and can do everything so she will go to the Diane."
The winner's stablemate Qemah claimed third and Rouget is eyeing the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot for the Al Shaqab-owned filly.
"Qemah will go to Ascot and I think the turn there will suit her better," he said.
British and Irish raiders go close
Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Nathra built on her fifth in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket to claim runner-up honours at Deauville under Frankie Dettori.
She was taken almost to the rear of the field in the early stages as Qemah's pacemaker Positive Vibration cut out the early running.
It took Nathra a little while to get going down the centre of the course but she was doing all her best work late to sweep by a host of runners to take second.
"The Nell Gwyn was on soft and the Guineas was fast but what helped here is she loved the flat track," said Gosden. "She's run a nice race and we're delighted. The Coronation looks the obvious next step."
Besharah was also in the mix at the death and had to make do with a close-up fourth under Christophe Soumillon on what was her first outing on turf in 2016.
"She just flattened out at the end but I am very proud of her," said her trainer William Haggas.
"She is not very big and when she walked into the paddock she looked tiny against the others, but she ran a very good race and I'm chuffed."
Alice Springs, meanwhile, raced towards the centre of the course in midfield and for a moment looked a real threat to La Cressonniere but faded to finish seventh.