There was no joy for either big-race favourite Chaldean or any of the British and Irish raiders at Deauville as Good Guess ran out an ultra-impressive winner of the Haras d’Etreham Prix Jean Prat.
Andrew Balding’s 2000 Guineas hero Chaldean was attempting to get back to winning ways having finished second behind Paddington at Royal Ascot, and Oisin Murphy had the son of Frankel in a handy position tracking the pace of the forward-going Sauterne in the early stages.
Fellow British challengers Indestructible and Shouldvebeenaring were also in a prominent position and looked to have claims heading into the final two furlongs.
However, none were able to match the acceleration shown by the Fabrice Chappet-trained winner, who struck over the course and distance for the second time this term following his win in the Prix Djebel in April.
Although only sixth in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp, Stephane Pasquier’s mount welcomed the return to seven furlongs when second to Breizh Sky last month and turned the tables on that rival here to lead home a one-two-three for the home team in tremendous style.
Karl Burke’s Indestructible finished best of the foreign contenders in fourth, with Chaldean bitterly disappointing as he faded out of contention quickly.
Despite being sent off a rather unfancied 40-1, Good Guess’ success was far from a shock for Pasquier, who was winning the Group One event for the first time.
“It wasn’t really a surprise,” he told Sky Sports Racing. “This horse is still immature physically. When he won here in the Prix Djebel he was fantastic and then he still needed to mature and grow up.
“Today the pace was fast enough for me, it is a fantastic victory against fantastic horses.
“I always wanted to ride him close to the pace, but he was slow from the gates. Today was a race where we go straight so I had plenty of time to choose my place and that helped me a lot.”
Pasquier also believes the winner will prove versatile in terms of distance as the season progresses as he expressed his delight at returning to the big-race winner’s enclosure.
He added: “He can do less and can do more, he is fantastic and can do everything.
“This race is always won by the English and I’m happy to still be riding good horses and doing my job. At my age it is not easy in France and I’m very happy. I’m riding with passion.”