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Dream start to season
for Saga at Saint-Cloud

Report: France, Saturday

Saint-Cloud: Prix Exbury (Group 3) 1m2f, 4yo+

IF THE duel between narrow victor Saga Dream (Freddy Lemercier/Thierry Jarnet) and Don Bosco for the first Group prize of the season is a portent for the action to come, French racegoers are in for an exciting year.

Having already raced twice this calendar year, Don Bosco and jockey Mirco Demuro set out to make this a true test of fitness in the very heavy conditions.

Jarnet never allowed his young Italian rival too much of an advantage and it soon became clear that none of their four rivals would be able to land a blow.

Don Bosco, who races in the colours of actor Omar Sharif, pulled out plenty inside the final furlong but was just caught on the line, going down by a head.

Saga Dream deserves plenty of credit as he successfully conceded 2lb and upwards on his seasonal reappearance, courtesy of his Group 2 win at Longchamp last October.

The pair finished nine lengths clear of Espero, with the race run more than two and a half seconds faster than any of the other four races over the 1m2f trip on the card.

"He was only at 75 per cent today but it suited him that Don Bosco put plenty of pace in the race," said Lemercier.

Saga Dream's greatest moment to date came over 1m4f in the Prix du Conseil de Paris last backend.

"He'll be aimed now at the Prix d'Harcourt over 2,100m [1m2½f] before taking in the big 2400m [1m4f] races," Lemercier added.

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