'I love her' - Boudot delight as magic mare One Master wins third straight Foret
Longchamp played host on Sunday to a six-year-old mare making history by winning the same race three times with One Master brilliant yet again in the Prix de la Foret.
While Enable's bid for a third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe victory hogged the headlines, One Master too was seeking a slice of racing lore with no horse capturing the 7f Group 1 three times in the race's 162-year history.
However, One Master had thrived on her two previous outings in the Foret and was reunited with her trusty ally Pierre-Charles Boudot in Paris, a jockey riding at the top of his game and a self-confessed lover of the gutsy mare.
On paper, the Foret looked a dust-up between Earthlight, the evergreen Safe Voyage and One Master, and the three of them moved through the race with a class and superiority over their rivals.
Earthlight took the initiative under Mickael Barzalona with Safe Voyage shadowing him and One Master tucked in behind, poised to take the gaps if and when they appeared with Boudot having utter faith in his partner.
Earthlight struck for home first and took a clear advantage as Boudot bobbed and weaved through the chinks of light in front of him. One Master bore down on Earthlight with the pair going head to head in a dynamic finish while Safe Voyage snapped at their heels.
Yet when it comes to the Foret there is no stopping One Master and as the line neared she edged her head in front to take the prize by a neck for owners Gretchen and Roy Jackson with Earthlight second and Safe Voyage third.
"I love her," said Boudot, who had wildly celebrated the historic achievement. "When I asked her she was very strong in the last furlong. Hopefully we'll be able to come back for four in a row."
Other targets await One Master first with the Qipco Champions Sprint, for which she was cut to 6-1 (from 10) by Paddy Power and Betfair, and the Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day both mentioned as possible targets by winning trainer William Haggas.
A tilt at the Breeders' Cup was also mooted by Haggas, who paid tribute to One Master's unique achievement.
"We're really proud of her," he said. "She's a fantastic filly and she seems to come good over this track and trip. She's particularly good on soft ground and was given another brilliant ride by Pierre-Charles. She wants to win.
"It's very sad the big filly [Enable] didn't manage to win three Arcs, but this was a good feat in itself to win three Forets, as it's never been done before. I suspect it will take some doing to beat it.
"These six-year-olds have had a remarkable year and if you look after them when they're young they'll look after you when they're older."
He added: "She'll have another run. She's in the Sprint and the QEII at Ascot and I quite fancy the Breeders' Cup in Keeneland for her this year as she's quite nippy. We haven't missed a beat with her this year and I'm thrilled for everyone involved."
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