Andre Fabre: won the Prix Greffulhe in 2011 with Pour MoiPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Ocovango keeps record in France's Epsom trial
Report: France, Saturday
Saint-Cloud: Prix Greffulhe (Group 2) 1m2f, 3yo colts & fillies
WHERE Pour Moi passed everything as he scythed down the outside to score in decisive fashion two years ago, Andre Fabre's 2013 Greffulhe winner Ocovango made all under Pierre-Charles Boudot.
Jumped out from his inside berth, the unbeaten son of Monsun strode on down the back straight from the expected leader Ivan Grozny, with Stephane Pasquier looking from third aboard chief market rival Bravodino.
The two Derby entries settled down to fight it out inside the two furlong pole, pulling away from their rivals but, try as he might, Bravodino could never close the final half length margin which his rival maintained to the line.
With reference to Epsom, for which he received quotes ranging from 16-1 right down to half those odds, Prince Faisal's bloodstock advisor Ted Voute said that a period of reflection was in order.
"We've got a few days to think about things and see the other trials and see where we go from here," he said.
Paddy Power chose to leave the winner's Derby odds unchanged at 14-1, expressing perhaps a modicum of disappointment with their decision to trim a further quarter point off favourite Dawn Approach's price.
The question as to whether Ocovango would thrive over the extra two furlongs at Epsom will be what occupies Fabre and Prince Faisal in determining where to go next.
"Gone West stays a mile on the dam's side of his pedigree, and that's where he get's the tendancy to be a bit on his toes as well," added Voute. "But he's a beautiful moving horse and Pierre-Charles is a real horseman as well."
Bravodino has now come-off second best on both occasions he has met Ocovango but the Niarchos Family's racing manager Alan Cooper reported: "We were very happy with that because I think they're two good horses.
Bravodino has entries at Epsom, for which he was cut in several places, as well as the French and Irish Derbys as well as Ascot's King Edward VII Stakes.
"Nothing is ruled out at this stage," advised Cooper.
Wire To Wire never threatened in third and only just held the challenge of Superplex, who ran on well for Ioritz Mendizabal having looked all at sea early in the straight.
Michael Figge, trainer of Superplex, said: "I'm slightly disappointed, but he was shuffled back on the turn and he couldn't get a run when he wanted. The Prix du Jockey Club is still the plan."