Alain De Royer-Dupre: excited about the future for progressive GiofraPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Giofra leads home Royer-Dupre one-two
Report: France, Sunday
Longchamp: Prix D'Harcourt (Group 2) 1m2f, 4yo+
GIOFRA (Alain De Royer-Dupre/Maxime Guyon) comprehensively outpointed her more experienced stablemate Vadamar on only her fourth racecourse start.
The Clive Cox-trained Poet helped set a generous pace alongside War Is War, but was unable to match strides with the closers on ground which had dried out beyond his optimum conditions.
"He's much better when he gets his toe in and it was probably just good ground today, but it was a good start for the year" said Poet's jockey Luke Morris, after the pair had finished sixth.
Giofra was confirming the abundant promise she had shown on her final start last season.
"She had a problem with a foreleg, which meant we had to be patient with her, and she only ran three times last year," said Royer-Dupre. "But she showed when easily winning the Listed race here last October that she was Group class."
Three lengths back, Vadamar stayed on well in second having been held up by Christophe Lemaire and will step back up to 1m4f for his next start.
"They went a bit quick for him out of the gates, he's a proper stayer, but he showed today he's an improving colt," said Royer-Dupre.
Trainer and jockey were celebrating a double on the card after Guyon had earlier forced Fairly Fair up to snatch victory on the line in the Listed Prix Finlande.
Also on Sunday
Longchamp: Prix La Force (Group 3) 1m2f, 3yo
SAONOIS (Jean-Pierre Gauvin/Antoine Hamelin) provided a fairytale ending to this trial for the Prix du Jockey Club, denying the Jean-Claude Rouget pair Saint Loup and Beauvoir to land the biggest success of both trainer and jockey's career.
Saonois took four attempts to get off the mark at two, eventuallyscoring in a Deauville claimer, before going on a winning spree over the winter which culminated with a four length success in the Listed Prix Policeman on the all-weather at Cagnes-sur-Mer.
"I was a little worried because early on he was a little keen, but he showed on the sand at Cagnes he is a real competitor, and Antoine showed a very cool head" said Gauvin, who trains 35 horses at his yard near Lyon. "After this we'll look at the Prix Greffulhe and then the Jockey Club."
Saint Loup was widely regarded as the pacemaker for stablemate Beauvoir, but fought back to head the red-hot favourite in the closing strides.