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Royer-Dupre eyes York raid for either Valia or Ebaiyra after Group 2 success

Valia and Christophe Soumillon return to the winners' enclosure after edging out Skazino in the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil
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Valia gained revenge on Skazino by a head at the end of a pulsating duel for the Group 2 Prix Maurice du Nieuil over 1m6f at Longchamp on Wednesday.

The Aga Khan's daughter of Sea The Stars had been on the wrong end of the verdict in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier over a furlong and a half further back in May, but was finessed past her rival by Christophe Soumillon.

"Christophe rode her beautifully because he wasn't hard on her and he didn't have much to play with, Skazino is a good horse," said trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre. "She stays very well and I think her ultimate target will be the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend. 

"We'll see what the opposition but either she or Ebaiyra could go to the Yorkshire Oaks."

Babylone and Mickael Barzalona after winning the Group 2 Prix de Malleret

Earlier Babylone made a good impression when coming from well off the pace to run down her rivals in the Group 2 Prix de Malleret. 

Andre Fabre was stepping the Haras de Voltaire's daughter of Invincible Spirit up considerably in class following a conditions race success over a mile and a quarter in June. 

Speaking for the owners, Laurent Benoit said: "She won well the other day around the Moyenne Piste [middle track] and this was over a bit further while there was no guarantee she would handle the soft ground.

"We had confidence in the filly and the timing was right after her two previous races. Let's hope she continues in this vein. Not many horses have come from off the pace today and it's a good sign for the future."

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Christophe rode her beautifully because he wasn't hard on he and he didn't have much to play with, Skazino is a good horse
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