Classy Kasbah Bliss books Cadran ticket
REPORT: FRANCE, Sunday
Longchamp (good to soft) Qatar Prix Gladiateur
1m 71/2f, Group 3, four-year-olds and upwards
KASBAH BLISS proved in the Qatar Prix Gladiateur that he is top class on the Flat as well as over hurdles - and the World Hurlde runner-up is now set to tackle the Group 1 Prix du Cadran at Longchamp on Arc day.
Held up last early on by Thierry Thulliez, the Francois Doumen-trained six-year-old came storming home in the Group 3 event and passed the post six lengths clear of Bannaby, High Maintenance and Tungsten Strike, who tried to make all in the hands of Jim Crowley.
The Amanda Perrett-trained seven-year-old tried to draw the sting from his six rivals and was still at the head of affairs entering the straight, but was struggling by the 2f marker.
Shortly afterwards, Kasbah Bliss burst into the lead and he had the race won in a couple of strides.
Last year Francois Doumen trained him to win the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle before a second to Inglis Drever in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The trainer, whose charge was cut by bookmakers for next year's World Hurdle - he is 3-1 joint favourite with sponsors Ladbrokes with Inglis Drever, said: "Today was a difficult challenge and I had been tempted to follow the same programme before with Baracouda.
"Kasbah Bliss now has the perfect right to run in the Prix du Cadran following his easy win.
"Heis a horse who needs good ground and we may well think about the Ascot Gold Cup next year. After the Cadran he will have a rest until the following year."
There was a nasty incident at the furlong marker, when Harbore lent right into Tungsten Strike, just as Yann Lerner was making his challenge on the favourite Incanto Dream up the farrail.
He had to be violently checked and nearly fell. The stewards held an inquiry and Harbore was disqualified and placed last. Tungsten Strike was subsequently promoted to fourth, which was worth €8,000.
The Spanish-trained Bannaby was brought with a late run but never had a chance with the winner.
Trainer Mauricio Delcher-Sanchez said: "He had a few problems in the straight but we are very happy. I think we have a good horse for staying event and he will either go for the Cadran or the Royal-Oak."
Tungsten Strike had his ground but ran a little below expectations. "He was never travelling well at any stage," said the trainer's husband Mark Perrett.
Crowley added: "I don't think he travels well and prefers to run at his local tracks. I wantedto try and set a strong gallop, but I was never able to do so. He was a little disappointing."