D'Amour denies British raider Shimmering Surf
Report: France, Saturday
Deauville: Prix de Pomone-Haras d'Etreham (Group 2) 1m4½f, 3yo+ fillies and mares
LA POMME D'AMOUR (Andre Fabre/Maxime Guyon) ran down the gallant Shimmering Surf to give her trainer a 12th success in the race.
Halfway up the run-in, Shimmering Surf looked set to provide Roger Varian with a third Group success in France from only six runners, having beaten off the challenge of favourite Dalkala.
But Guyon was always within striking distance and La Pomme D'Amour powered clear in the colours of Guy Reed.
The daughter of Peintre Celebre has been carefully handled by Fabre this season, having been dropped in grade to an apprentices' race at Saint-Cloud three starts ago to rebuild her confidence.
"She was stepping up in trip to 2500m [1m4½f] but she's a very relaxed filly and I had no worries on that score," said Guyon. "She's confirmed her ability and as well as being very straightforward she is tough as well."
Neill Callan was far from disappointed with the effort of Shimmering Surf, who ran into subsequent Irish Oaks winner Great Heavens last time out.
He said: "I got nice easy fractions out there and got in a nice rhythm, then filled her up halfway round and when I let her stretch just before the turn I thought it would take a good one to pass me. The winner's obviously a very good horse and has done me for a little bit of toe."
Also on Saturday
Deauville: Prix de Gontaut-Biron -Hong Kong Jockey Club (Group 3) 1m2f, 4yo+
THERE were smiles all round in the winners' enclosure after the free-wheeling Don Bosco (David Smaga/Gregory Benoist) made all to land this Group 3 for legendary actor Omar El Sharif.
British raider Sagramor passed most of the field in the final two furlongs having been patiently ridden by Darryl Holland but could never quite get to the winner.
Darryll Holland: rode SagramorPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
"This is fantastic because I don't have many horses and I'm especially happy because this horse often stops when he gets near the finish, so it was a great surprise to see him run to the line like that," said Sharif, who gained worldwide celebrity in the film Dr Zhivago.
"He always makes the running, there's never any stopping him. But he's not had as much hard racing this year."
Holland was convinced that a little more give in the ground would have made all the difference for Sagramor.
"They didn't quite go quick enough and you've got to keep a bit in reserve for him to get a mile and a quarter," he said. "The ground has just turned against him but I was gaining with every stride and he's definitely a Group horse waiting to happen."