Broome sweeps aside rivals to give Aidan O'Brien first Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud
Broome may be one of those horses who seems to have been around forever, but after stamping his authority on a high-class field in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud it is probably time to conclude that he is a much-improved horse at the age of five.
In making virtually all here he turned away horses of the calibre of Ebaiyra, Gold Trip and In Swoop under a confident steer from Colin Keane, who was not only landing a first Group 1 in France but, just as noteworthy, a first top-level success in tandem with Aidan O'Brien.
"It's my first time being here [at Saint-Cloud] and it's a lovely track," said Keane. "Speaking to Aidan beforehand he said to keep it pretty simple.
Broome (@ctkjockey) s'impose de bout en bout dans le Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Gr.1).— Equidia (@equidia) July 4, 2021
C'est le neuvième Groupe 1 de l'année pour Aidan O'Brien (@Ballydoyle).
Ebaiyra et Gold Trip complètent l'arrivée. pic.twitter.com/zwcc27ii4W
"If no-one was happy to go he said to make your own running. He’s a very uncomplicated horse, very genuine and stays well. When nothing was going on I was happy to let my lad roll along – I had a willing partner.
"He pricked his ears and was taking me the whole way and galloped right to the line. He's been very deserving of it as he's been very consistent this year, so it was nice to get the Group 1 beside his name."
Betfair Sportsbook cut Broome to 10-1 (from 14) for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes on July 24, while his odds for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe were trimmed to 25-1 (from 50).
Given that both Broome and stablemate Japan are part-owned by Maasaki Matsushima, a tilt at the Arc for one or both would be no surprise.
David Menuisier and Chris Wright must have been delighted at the sight of Broome repelling his rivals, given the way Wonderful Tonight readily dealt with him in the Hardwicke.
But the five-year-old has maintained a progressive profile throughout the first half of the year, winning Listed, Group 3 and Group 2 contests in Ireland.
And the assumption that he must be just below the very best older horses at Ballydoyle might need re-examination, for all that his style is not flashy.
Both his three and four-year-old seasons were interrupted, and O'Brien is making the most of having a clear run.
"He's been very consistent and every race he's run this season has been brilliant," said O'Brien. "We're delighted with him and Colin gave him a great ride.
"We'll see how he comes out of the race before making our minds up about where he goes next or whether he'll have a break. He has plenty of options and is taking his racing very well."
O'Brien said he was pleased with how St Mark's Basilica – the first half of his Group 1 weekend double – had pulled out after defeating Addeybb and Mishriff in the Eclipse.
"St Mark's Basilica seems in good form since his run at Sandown," said O'Brien. "We'll let him get back into full work before deciding where he goes next."
Christophe Soumillon was determined to keep close tabs on both Broome and Baron Samedi and enjoyed a ground-saving trip around the inner aboard Ebaiyra.
The Aga Khan's daughter of Distorted Humor looked poised to reel in the leader turning in but, despite picking up well, she never quite looked like bridging the gap, fighting on well in the final furlong to hold the challenges of Gold Trip and In Swoop.
"She ran well and was only beaten at the last," said Alain de Royer-Dupre. "She ran like the filly we know she is and she perhaps just used up a little too much gas during the race as she had a horse on her outside the whole way."
Ebaiyra proved last year she stays further than a mile and a half against her own sex, but showed a fine turn of foot over a mile and a quarter here in the Prix Corrida and could be set for a return to that trip at Deauville next month.
Royer-Dupre said: "She was brave and honest and I don’t think she had too hard a race. The Jean Romanet at Deauville could be an option."
Gold Trip finished best of those to race from further off the pace and failed by only a nose to catch Ebaiyra.
"We've already beaten In Swoop once going left-handed," said owner Jean-Louis Bouchard. "He's entered in the King George in three weeks' time and we'll see how he comes out of this before making a decision.
"If not, he will have a break and then run in the Prix Foy before having another crack at the Arc."
In Swoop was sent off the well-backed favourite and might have been better served if more of the forecast rain had arrived while, as Bouchard observed, his only two finishes outside the first two have coincided with running the other way round to Longchamp and Ascot.
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