Tenacious Roly Poly grabs second Group 1 under positive Moore
Report: Deauville, Sunday
Prix Rothschild (Group 1) 1m | 3yo+ | fillies and mares
The last time Roly Poly tackled Deauville's straight mile she could not get within four lengths of Poule d'Essai winner Precieuse but, four races and ten weeks later, she looked a different proposition altogether in collecting a second Group 1 prize.
Other than there being no bend to run round, you could not find two more starkly differing tracks than the Newmarket July course – scene of Roly Poly's success in the Falmouth stakes just over a fortnight ago – and this Normandy crepe-flat strip of turf.
But Ryan Moore reached for the same page out of his own varied playbook, grabbing a share of the lead and refusing to relinquish it, as Roly Poly held off the challenges of Siyoushake and Via Ravenna to score by a short neck.
Moore said: "It looked a harder race than Newmarket today and she ran against some very good fillies.
"All through this season she has continued to progress and she put in her best ever performance today. She tries so hard and she is a high-class filly who seems to thrive on her racing."
Not the most physically imposing of the ten fillies in the ring beforehand, the daughter of War Front is clearly only just beginning to find top gear and she beat a deep field of her own sex here, with the dual Group 1-winning Qemah only fourth.
Roly Poly holds an entry for the Prix Jacques le Marois back here in a fortnight but, with O'Brien staying at home, it was left to Moore to offer a potentially more conservative programme in her own division.
Moore said: "I don’t know what’s next, but I imagine we will look at races like the Matron and the Sun Chariot back at Newmarket. I’ll leave that to the team."
Via Ravenna ensured the dual forecast for the three-year-olds, as Vincent Cheminaud's patience was rewarded as she finished well to banish the memory of a poor run in the Poule d'Essai.
"She got the trip very well although we never really thought that was a problem and she might even stay a bit further," said owner/breeder Andreas Putsch.
"For the moment there are no plans and we will sit down and discuss where to go next but I am delighted with her performance."
"She is a magnificent mare with a heart as big as she is," said Head.
"For a moment I believed she had it won but she was just beaten at the finish."
In something of a reversal of her defeat of Usherette at Ascot last month, it was Qemah who found herself anchored at the back of a field that all ended up on the same rail.
Although Cristian Demuro was able to make stealthy progress approaching the final furlong, Qemah could never quite get to the leaders.
"She lengthened really well to finish but the three-year-olds were better," said Al Shaqab racing manager Harry Herbert.
"Nothing really played out as we had expected today but she has no excuses and she has run pretty well."
John Gosden was more than satisfied with Persuasive, who returned from a ten month absence to finish a slightly unlucky fifth under Frankie Dettori.
"I’m not saying we would have won or anything but everywhere she went she found trouble," said Gosden.
"She hasn’t run for a long time, she was doing all her best work at the end and I am happy with it."