Zambezi Sun back on track after narrow win
REPORT: FRANCE Sunday
Longchamp: Prix Foy
HERS was always going to be a hard act to follow, and Zambezi Sun could not produce a solar performance to eclipse Zarkava - but he at leastrediscovered winning ways.
He has never quite been the same since his bubble was burst in this race 12 months ago by Soldier Of Fortune, and he was made to work hard in Sunday's Group 2 Qatar Prix Foy by Godolphin's Schiaparelli, before squeezing home by half a length.
Bookmakers were generallyunderwhelmed, though Paddy Power introduced him into the Arc reckoning at 20-1.
Even winning trainer Pascal Bary conceded that his four-year-old faced a stiff test against this year's Classic generation.
"The three-year-old generation are very goodand Zarkava was very impressive," said Bary, who will be considering plenty of options with Zambezi Sun's owner Khalid Abdullah and his racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.
The Arc entry was always tracking Schiaparelli in a typical small-field trial that was more cat and mouse than cut and thrust.
Stephane Pasquier took Zambezi Sun to the front early in the straight but found Schiaparelli and Frankie Dettori impossible to shake off.
They came close into the final 250m, but Zambezi Sun asserted in the final strides to open up a possible trip to Canada for the International or even the Japan Cup.
The Godolphin team were delighted with the effort of Schiaparelli, having been at pains to warn that the five-year-old would need this first run in 20 days short of a year off the track.
The ex-German-trained five-year-old, purchased off the back of three straight Group 1 successes, has suffered from bone bruises and Godolphin has been very patient in returning him to action.
Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said: "That was a good comeback as he has been off a long while and we told everyone he was not really fit, so it was a very pleasing effort, and he also wants soft ground to be at his best."
The team was certainly not immediately scrubbing his Arc entry, especially if Paris is hit by autumn storms to turn the ground in his favour, but Crisford added: "There are a lot of mile and a half races in the autumn for him."
What is certain is that if Schiaparelli turns up in three weeks time, there will be another jockey-go-round to match the St Leger build-up, as Crisford confirmed Frankie Dettori would be riding for Godolphin, meaning Andre Fabre would be left looking for another jockey for Getaway.