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Signs of a bright future has Rohaut's Blessing

Report: France, Monday


THE Prix de la Ville Imperiale kicked off a series of races designed specifically to give opportunities to three-year-old sprinters but, in Signs Of Blessing (Francois Rohaut/Stephane Pasquier), it unearthed a winner whose undoubted potential might yet be fully realised over further.

When the son of Invincible Spirit routed his field in a Listed sprint at Longchamp last October, Rohaut could barely conceal his hopes for the future.

A reappearance over 5½ furlongs of Fontainebleau's helter-skelter sprint track, conceding weight all round, represented a far from straightforward task.

But Pasquier managed to get some cover from the pair's outside draw before Signs Of Blessing exerted his authority over some decent opposition in the closing stages.

"I hoped he'd win because we have big plans for him," said Rohaut. "He still has some physical progress to make but the most pleasing thing is that Stephane found him a lot more relaxed than last year."

Signs Of Blessing is entered in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains [French 2,000 Guineas], a plan which Rohaut admitted had led Pasquier to question his sanity.

Rohaut said: "We'll stick with the original programme which means he'll go to the Prix Sigy at Chantilly and then we'll think about whether he stays sprinting or goes for the Poule after that."

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