One Master springs 48-1 surprise to ensure Haggas reaches winners' circle
Any day you leave Longchamp with a Group 1 success must be counted as a good one and, less than two hours after seeing Sea Of Class so narrowly fail to reel in Enable in the Arc, William Haggas was wreathed in smiles following One Master into the winner's enclosure.
Like many races before it run to the second winning post, the Prix de la Foret changed complexion several times up the extended home straight, but One Master was a worthy, if narrow, winner over the admirable Inns Of Court, with Dutch Connection just a head away in third.
And just as with Sea Of Class, her rider had to overcome an unpromising wide draw in stall 15 of 16.
Pierre-Charles Boudot – whose two victories bookended the day's Group 1 action – had only two horses behind him early in the straight but he took his time before making his effort on the four-year-old.
"Pierre-Charles had to get her settled, which he did beautifully, and she picked up well," said Haggas.
"She’s a lovely filly that wants soft ground and who had won well at Tipperary over this trip the time before."
Longchamp's weather-beaten turf was beginning to show signs of wear and tear, with clouds of earth kicking up as the field swung for home.
Haggas added: "She’s done very well on roughish ground but she doesn’t mind that, she’s tough. Our plan had always been to keep her in training. I think now that she’s won a Group 1 winner we’ll have to have a regroup.
"Her owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson have been fantastic to me for the last nigh-on 20 years. They send me everything they breed and I’m absolutely thrilled. I trained this filly’s mother and grandmother."
Inns Of Court and Mickael Barzalona looked to have slipped the pack inside the final furlong but once again had to settle for a supporting role, edged out by a short head.
The four-year-old's trainer Andre Fabre said: "I was delighted with him. There are no plans but he should be a nice horse again next year."
James Doyle once again showed his innate understanding of the demands of Longchamp, threading Dutch Connection – like Inns Of Court owned by Godolphin – through traffic before flying late.
"He ran a brilliant race, I couldn't be happier," said trainer Charlie Hills, who had earlier suffered the disappointment of seeing Battaash lose his Prix de l'Abbaye crown. "It's a nice way to finish the day."
In a race that turned rough for those on the rail, local favourite Polydream – who had looked to be ready to go and pick up the leaders – suffered interference on more than one occasion, while Gustav Klimt and Sir Dancealot were also closing at the finish after less than ideal trips.
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