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STARBOARD with W Buick 1st from left KINGSDESIRE 2nd and right EXPENSE CLAIM 3rd in Conditions stakes at Doncaster 9-6-12. Copyright Martin Lynch.

Starboard: a winner for John Gosden at Longchamp on Saturday

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)  

Pearl Flute gives Graffard first Group race success

Report: France, Saturday

Longchamp: Prix des Chenes (Group 3) 1m, 2yo colts and geldings

PEARL FLUTE (Umberto Rispoli) gave trainer Francis Graffard his first success at Group level when holding favourite Visiyani by three-quarters of a length at Longchamp on Saturday.

The well backed US Law was a close third, just in front of the Tom Dascombe-trained Deauville Prince in fourth.

Rispoli won his first Group race in France when partnering the William Muir-trained Purr Along at Deauville and added a second with a finely judged ride on the winner.

Settled in sixth place early, he produced Pearl Flue with a perfectly timed challenge in the straight. The son of Piccolo quickened well and finely won with something in hand.

The winner was paying a great compliment to Reckless Abandon, who had him back in seventh place in the Group 1Darley Prix Morny.

Graffard said: "He merited this win and is a little soldier who always gives all. He needed this mile and the soft ground was also an advantage. The colt loves competition and is a delightful horse to train. He has progressed all season and is a beautifully balanced individual.

"He is in the Arqana sale but also the Gran Criterium at Milan and could be entered in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud." The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf is also another alternative."

Graffard spent three years in Chantilly with Alain de Royer-Dupre, who trained the runner-up. He said: "I am very happy for Francis. Visiyani ran very well but his lacked a bit of experience."

Also on Saturday . . .

Longchamp: Prix du Prince d'Orange (Group 3)
1m2f, 3yo

Starboard (John Gosden/Chistophe Soumillon) ran out a convincing winner of the trial for the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe but is unlikely to be in the line up for Europe's richest race on October 7.

The colt dominated the Group 3 from virtually start to finish, running wide in the early stages to find the better ground, before joining the pack on the main descent before the straight.

Soumillon injected pace from the two furlong marker, having the race in safe keepings soon after. Starboard received a couple of taps to keep his mind on the job close home, finally passing the post three lengths clear of rank outsider Prince Mag.

Christophe Soumillon

Christophe Soumillon: "He was relaxed and positive in the race"

  PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi  

The well-backed Albion was close up in third, while the MahmoodAl Zarooni-trained Mandaean was sixth and never looked like making the frame.

Gosden has campaigned Khalid Abdullah's Starboard in France throughout the summer when the son of Zamindar was fourth in the Prix Eugene Adam and the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano.

Soumillon said: "He was relaxed and positive in the race and would have been more impressive if the ground had been better. He took a little time to pick up and I gave him one or two taps for safety's sake."

Racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe added: "It was always the idea to campaign him in France as a three-year-old. He had a couple of not very satisfactory runs and now this win. He is in the Prix Dollar which is an option but against older horses. I think the idea is to keep in training at four and Prince Khalid will decide."

 
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