The Dubai-based Godolphin team look set to have a strong hand ahead of the French Classics after Andre Fabre, the trainer, gave them a double at Longchamp yesterday in Paris. First, Anna Salai produced an impressive success in the Prix De La Grotte. The daughter of Dubawi was settled at the rear in the early stages but began to hit top gear passing the two-furlong marker and passed the post ahead of Gotlandia.
Alain Royer-Dupre's Rosanara was the favourite but having had every chance, she could only finish third. Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said: "I was pleased with the performance and I would expect her to go to the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches [French 1,000 Guineas]. "I haven't talked to Andre yet but the French Classic looks the race for Anna Salai. The victory is also great news for Dubawi."
Simon de Montfort pounced late to take the Group Three Prix La Force. Paul Cole's Circumvent was the sole British challenger and while he ran well to finish third, he had no answer to Simon De Montfort's finishing kick. Pain Perdu split the pair and filled the runner-up spot. "Simon de Montfort deserves to go to the French Derby after that excellent performance," Crisford told www.godolphin.com. "I will talk over plans with Andre and we will decide what to do."
Royer-Dupre's Siyouni made do with the runner-up spot as his pacemaker Rajsaman held on to land the Prix De Fontainebleau. The former was sent off looking for his first start since winning last year's Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and was settled towards the rear by Gerald Mosse. Rajsaman was predictably taken to the front from the outset by Thierry Jarnet, but he still held a clear lead turning for home and Siyouni's challenge came all too late as his stablemate passed the post comfortably in front.
Roses For The Lady, last year's Irish Oaks runner-up, made a winning return to action in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan yesterday. John Oxx's filly was sent off as favourite for this first start since chasing home Sariska in the Irish Classic and she disputed throughout with Merchant Of Dubai. The pair were under pressure from the turn for home but continued to fight it out up the home straight. Roses For The Lady came out on top by three lengths under new stable jockey Fran Berry.
"It was a suitable race for her but I was terrified of the ground. She's sound enough but doesn't like it much," Berry said. * PA