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Peslier dictates on Slow Pace in La Coupe

Report: France, Monday

Longchamp: La Coupe (Group 3) 1m2f, 4yo+

THE FAMOUS blue and white Wertheimer silks, which will forever be associated with the great Goldikova, were back in the winners' enclosure as Slow Pace (Freddy Head/Olivier Peslier) became a fourth Group race winer in the space of 15 days for brothers Alain and Gerard.

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Peslier dictated no more than modest fractions from the front before stealing an advantage halfway up the home straight.

Both Smoking Sun and Harem Lady charged late having taken a while to find running space but Slow Pace was still in front by a pair of short necks at the line.

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Olivier Peslier: Group 3 winner

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

"He's brave and he showed a good turn of pace so I'm delighted," reported Head. "He's good over 2,000m but in my opiniom 2,400m is his real distance. It's only in 12 days time but he might run in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud, we'll see."

Smoking Sun almost managed to come from last to first down the outside, an effort worth noting considering he was last seen when sixth in the Prix Niel last September.

"He got a little held up in his run but it was a very good comeback," said trainer Pascal Bary. "He could run in something like the Grand Prix de Vichy or the Prix Gontaut-Biron at Deauville, or else we could go abroad with him - all three are possibilities," he added of the Smart Strike colt, who holds entries in the Arlington Million and the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes.

David Smaga was left to contemplate what might have been for Harem Lady, another to find a little trouble in running up the inside rail.

"She was a little unlucky because she couldn't find the gap until it was too late," said Smaga, before adding: "But she's going the right way."

 
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