Vandeek hits the jackpot for Crisfords in Prix Morny

Vandeek maintained his unbeaten record in brilliant fashion to edge out home favourite Ramatuelle in a high-class renewal of the Sumbe Prix Morny.

Simon and Ed Crisford’s youngster arrived in Deauville with a perfect record, having followed up a Nottingham maiden success by claiming the Richmond Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, and he showed all his quality in this step up to Group One level.

Always travelling comfortably in the hands of Andrea Atzeni as Clive Cox’s Jasour set the pace, Vandeek followed the move made by Aurelien Lemaitre on Ramatuelle as the final furlong approached.

The duo soon became embroiled in a thrilling duel for the first prize, with Vandeek gradually finding himself alongside the stylish French runner and then ahead in the shadow of the post to strike a telling blow for owners KHK Racing Ltd and Atzeni, who was making his Deauville swansong ahead of his upcoming move to Hong Kong.

“It was a huge display and a big performance,” said Ed Crisford.

“I thought the filly’s turn of foot was fantastic and I thought we weren’t going to claw her back, but to be fair to him he’s stuck to his guns and stuck his head down and he’s a really high-quality colt.

“We were behind a few horses and I saw Andrea looking for a gap and he couldn’t quite find a gap and I was half-thinking ‘oh no we’re not getting out here and Ramatuelle’s gone for home’. But once he got out he’s picked up really well in that ground and he’s a proper horse with a big future, hopefully.

“He’s done nothing wrong in three races and he’s by a very good stallion in Havana Grey.”

Not only was it a breakthrough victory for Vandeek, it was also the first time the father and son training duo had enjoyed success in Group One company.

They will now seek further top honours when Vandeek heads to Newmarket on September for the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes, a race for which he is 7-2 from 11-2 with both Paddy Power and Betfair.

“It’s huge and for the whole team at home it is fantastic,” added Crisford.

“We’ve been hitting the crossbar a few times so to finally get one done in the Prix Morny which is a proper race is huge.

“Now we’ve got that monkey off our back hopefully a few more will come.

“He could go further in time, but I think he’s got so much speed being by Havana Grey that we’ll aim for the Middle Park and then take it from there.”

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