With You throws down challenge to Alpha Centauri with dominant display
This summer has already been set alight by one long-striding colossus of a filly in Alpha Centauri but in With You, who surged clear of her nine rivals for a first Group 1 success in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville, she may have some real competition.
And trainer Freddy Head appears unafraid to test With You against Jessica Harrington's grey wonder, with a meeting back at Deauville in a fortnight's time in the Prix Jacques le Marois now looking a real possibility.
Aljazzi ran a fair race to finish fourth under Ryan Moore and be best of the three British-trained challengers, while William Buick and Crown Walk edged out fellow Godolphin filly Rosa Imperial in the battle for minor honours.
But in a race in which few really got involved from behind, Aurelien Lemaitre controlled proceedings from fully three furlongs out and let out a cry of joy as With You provided him with a first Group 1 victory to savour.
Persistent rain had eased conditions towards good to soft, but Head's pre-race fears on that score proved unfounded.
"She didn’t work well on the soft ground we had at the start of the year and that was why she made her comeback so late, as we were waiting for a sound surface," said Head, who was dropping With You back to a mile after narrow defeats in Group 1 company over a mile and a quarter.
"It could have compromised her chances, but she did win on heavy ground on debut last year. She's just a very good filly and she's capable of doing a lot of different things."
Head won this race four times with the extraordinary Goldikova, who was also tried over further in the Diane before reverting to the mile with record-breaking success.
"She was beaten a nose in the Saint-Alary and then half a length in the Diane. It was always down to small margins, but she lost nothing in those two defeats," said Head. "I think she'll run back here in Jacques le Marois but I need to discuss it with her owner."
Lemaitre has improved enormously under the watchful eye of both Head and Thierry Jarnet, before taking over the stable jockey role on Jarnet's retirement.
"She's a very special filly to me and ever since her debut last year she's done everything we've asked of her," said Lemaitre.
"Even with the drop back in trip she showed herself to be extraordinary and when I asked her, she gave me the same response as when she won here last year.
"I’ve been with Monsieur Head for ten years now, starting off riding out in the mornings, and he has fashioned me into the one who now rides for the yard in the afternoons. It's hugely satisfying."
Buick and Crown Walk gave With You most to worry about up front and stayed on well to just hold Rosa Imperial.
"Coming back to a mile and the ease in the ground helped her and she was extremely brave," said trainer Alex Pantall.
While the rain didn't really get into the ground it was still enough to blunt Aljazzi's finishing burst.
"She's run a very respectable race considering the ground didn't help and she was drawn away from the action without cover," said Marco Botti.
"She's in the Matron but we also have the QEII and the Breeders' Cup to think about as well before she's retired at the end of the year."
Comedy has last laugh for Burke
Comedy took the jump from Doncaster novice race to Group 3 winner in her stride under a confident front-running ride from Ben Curtis in the Darley Prix de Cabourg.
"She has speed, which helps to get a position out in front and get her travelling," said Curtis. "She's improved every run and she needed to improve again coming here, but by God she did. She has plenty of talent and heart and she's one of those with a bit of attitude, which she puts into her running."
Winning trainer Karl Burke added: "She isn’t in the Lowther Stakes [at York]. There are no major plans with her, but a return to France could well be on the cards."
Listen to or watch our top tipping talent every day of Goodwood and Galway at racingpost.com/news/videos-postcasts