Testing ground to Cocktail Queen’s taste

Report: France, Saturday


THE unseasonal weather may be causing all manner of consternation among a variety of trainers, notably Andre Fabre and John Gosden, but Myriam Bollack-Badel and owner Jeff Smith did not mind a bit as the former David Elsworth-trained Cocktail Queen ran away with the 1m2f Group 3 Prix Gontaut-Biron at Deauville.

“Why not run in the Vermeille if the ground is soft?” the trainer suggested to the assembled media. “She’s a good mare and was given a lovely ride by my son Alexi, who is one of the best from the front.”

The Group 2 Prix de Pomone also fell to a horse well-known to British racegoers, as ex-Mark Johnston trained Star Lahib scored for owner Jaber Abdullah and German trainer Andreas Wohler.

“What helped us today was the extra distance and the soft ground,” said Wohler, who was quick to praise the rising Italian star Umberto Rispoli, another to make virtually all.

“Umberto was riding out for me in Pisa when he was 14 so I have known about his talent for a long while,” he added.

Favourite Shamkala beat only one home after losing a shoe and may be dropped back in trip next time.


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