Mickael Barzalona celebrates as Havana Gold win the Prix Jean PratPICTURE: Scoopdyga
Hannon strikes Gold
with Havana in Jean Prat
Report: France, Sunday
Chantilly: Prix Jean Prat (Group 1) 1m, 3yo colts and filles
HAVANA GOLD ran down San Marino Grey in the final furlong to claim this Group 1 prize for Richard Hannon and jockey Mickael Barzalona.
Pre-race attention had focused on Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Style Vendome, who was running for the first time since his purchase by leading owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani.
However, it was the burgundy and gold silks of Sheikh Joaan's cousins Sheikh Fahad, Sheikh Suhaim and Sheikh Hamad of Qatar Racing that tasted victory with Havana Gold along with co-owners Carmichael, Simmons and Humber.
Pacemakers Mondialiste and Top Chill were fired off into the lead by their riders and posted fractions that had UAE Derby winner Lines Of Battle off the bridle at the rear of the field.
Closer to the front, San Marino Grey travelled powerfully for jockey Maxime Guyon, who had both Style Vendome and Havana Gold for company.
As the pace setters faultered, US Law threw down his challenge but was quickly grabbed by San Marino Grey.
Guyon threw all he had at the Andre Fabre-trained runner but he could not hold off the sustained thrust of Havana Gold, whose rider Mickael Barzalona performed his trademark early celebration before holding on by a head.
Mondialiste, a pacemaker for Anodin, held on for third from the disappointing Style Vendome, who was initially found wanting for speed inside the final furlong before staying on again to just be denied third at the line.
Hannon said: "We're very pleased, he deserved it. He had a bad draw in the French Guineas and ran a blinder and this is his reward.
"He'll have a break now, that was his fourth race in quick succession, and we'll bring him back in the early autumn. I think he'll get a mile and a quarter, but he's done nothing wrong at a mile. Our options are open."