Romantica: races clear of her rivals under a confident Maxime GuyonPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Romantica outclasses Aga Khan pair
Report: Sunday, France
Deauville: Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Group 1) 1m2f, 4yo+ fillies & mares
ROMANTICA, racing in the famous Khalid Abdullah colours for master trainer Andre Fabre, held too many guns for the Aga Khan pair Sarkiyla and Dalkala in a race in which the fancied runners came to the fore.
A Group 2 winner over course and distance last year, Romantica took the step up in class in her stride on this occasion under Maxime Guyon as the winning trainer, owner and jockey repeated their success with Announce two years earlier.
Romantica has made the frame in all but one of her nine career starts with her only below-par run coming when ninth on her first try at Group 1 level in last season’s Prix Vermeille.
The favourite, who was ridden with confidence by her jockey, suffered a slight scare when York winner Dalkala drifted into her, but she had time to regroup and was pulling clear of Dalkala's stablemate and runner-up Sarkiyla close home.
Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "The ground had dried out fairly nicely and she's got a super stride.
"They went a nice pace and she quickened well. She's a Galileo out of Banks Hill so you have fairly high expectations. Her mother won the Marois here so it how good is it to win a Group 1 here?
"The obvious one for her would be the Prix de l'Opera and the Breeders' Cup could be an option."
The contest was delayed after jockeys at the track came out ten minutes late for the preceding sprint handicap at 2.08, which was won by Sara Lucille.
The gesture was in support of rider Stephane Pasquier, who was given a three-month ban earlier this month for testing positive for a banned substance.
Also on Sunday
Deauville: Darley Prix Kergorlay (Group 2) 1m7f, 3yo+
A LATE burst from Verema prevented British raider Joshua Tree from landing back-to-back victories in the Prix Kergorlay.
The Aga Khan filly, trained by Alain De Royer-Dupre and ridden by Christophe Lemaire, stuck her neck out where it mattered to get the better of the globetrotting Joshua Tree in a thrilling finish.
Seven of the nine runners had claims in the final furlong and just over a length separated the winner and seventh placed Goldtara.
The Verema team are set to discuss the possibility of venturing to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.
"There's no definite plan but Australia is possible," said De Royer-Dupre. "She is capable of accelerating even though there wasn't much pace and is progressing all the time."
Joshua Tree, trained by Marco Botti when winning last year, bounced back to form on his fourth start for Ed Dunlop, who said: "It was a great run under a Group 1 penalty.
"We're going for the Canadian International, which he's won twice and no horse has won three times."