Christopher Head is delighted with Ramatuelle after her valiant run in defeat in the Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday.
The Justify filly went into the race unbeaten having won a string of good quality contests, including the Prix du Bois and the Prix Robert Papin.
The latter two victories were by considerable margins, five and four lengths respectively, and the two-year-old lined up for the Group One Prix Morny the evens favourite as a result.
There she crossed paths with Simon and Ed Crisford’s Goodwood winner Vandeek, who triumphed in the Richmond Stakes on what was only his second start.
The two horses were engaged in a battle in the final strides of the race and Vandeek just edged past the filly to score a short-head success and become the first horse to defeat her.
Head was nonetheless impressed with his chestnut, who ran an admirable race against an increasingly highly-regarded rival.
“I’m very happy with the race because it was such a strong field, we have seen a very nice colt,” he said.
“Of course it’s a bit enraging to be beaten like that in a Group One, one has to accept there are horses that are better than Ramatuelle but she had a very pleasing run.
“The times are crazy, in that kind of ground having that kind of turn of foot – it’s just madness.
“I’m really happy with her run and I can’t wait to see her on the rest of her programme.”
The Deauville turf was officially very soft, conditions Vandeek was proven on after his Goodwood run but Ramatuelle had less experience of having mainly encountered good to soft going.
Head said: “We know that Vandeek can show a very, very nice performance on that type of ground and Ramatuelle was a question mark.
“It’s not the same soft as the beginning of the season at Chantilly, it was a very good race and well done to the Crisfords because they are brilliant trainers.”
There are no confirmed plans for the filly’s next outing, with Head keen to discuss the rest of the season with her owners, who include NBA Hall of Famer Tony Parker, before plotting a next step.
“We will have to discuss with the owners before we plan the rest of the season, that was pretty much the plan regarding the Morny,” he said.
“We have a few opportunities now, we will have to see how she comes out of the race and then we will plan the rest of the season.
“She is very well, she had a pleasant night and is very settled.
“She didn’t look like she had a hard race, she was very ready for the challenge. We will see in a few weeks what we will do.”