Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

Andre Fabre targets English 2000 Guineas for Godolphin’s Earthlight after Group 1 Deauville victory

The colt battled it out to clinch the Prix Morny from the Frankie Dettori-steered Raffle Prize

Trainer Andre Fabre has high expectations for Earthlight. Alamy Stock Photo
Trainer Andre Fabre has high expectations for Earthlight. Alamy Stock Photo

Trainer Andre Fabre has set his sights on the English 2000 Guineas for Godolphin’s Earthlight next year after the colt stretched his winning streak to four from four starts at the Deauville racecourse on Sunday.

Earthlight, under Mickael Barzalona, battled it out to clinch the Prix Mony from the Frankie Dettori-ridden Raffle Prize, in the silks of the Dubai Crown Prince’s Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

“For me, that was one of the best races run in Europe this season, so I’m delighted because it was a tough race,” Fabre, who trains Earthlight in France, said during the post-race television interview.

“He showed ability and a great attitude. He can go further – he will be a Guineas horse for sure. The question is if he runs again this year. I would say Newmarket [for the Guineas].

“If he recovers from this he might go for the Dewhurst [a Group 1 race at Newmarket in October]. He is a top-class horse, obviously.”

Earthlight’s victory ended an eight-year drought for French runners in the race. It was also the colt’s biggest career victory after his success in the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg on the same course and distance on July 28.

Barzalona had to work up his way from the middle of the pack to join the front-running Raffle Prize before slugging it out to land the spoils over the 1,200-metre trip on the heavy underfoot conditions.

“He was quite impressive,” said Barzalona. “We were worried about the ground, but he’s a very tough horse and did it very well.

“I don’t know if he will stay further, but the main thing was he won the race today.”

Mark Johnston, trainer of Raffle Prize, said he was delighted for the owners with the one-two result but admitted a another second place was bittersweet.

“It seems to be the story of our life this year,” he said. “It's fantastic for the owners, who were first and second, so they will be delighted.

“It has always been plan A for that she will come here then go to the Cheveley Park (in September).”

Godolphin could not complete the Group 1 double as Dettori, riding on the crest of a wave, landed the Prix Jean Romanet on the John Gosden-trained Coronet 35 minutes later. It was the Italian jockey’s 13th Group 1 winner in 78 days.

Godolphin’s Wild Illusion under William Buick raced prominently in front before fading and finishing sixth of the eight runners.

Updated: August 19, 2019 04:42 AM

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