Like father, like son as Fancy Blue prevailed in a blanket finish of the Prix de Diane at Chantilly.
It was a maiden Group 1 triumph for Donnacha O’Brien as a trainer. He only just retired from riding for famous father Aidan at the end of last year, but has now saddled a Classic winner.
Less than a length separated the first four home in the Prix de Diane with Irish raiders dominating. Fancy Blue just held impressive Coronation Stakes scorer Alpine Star and Peaceful.
Raabihah was best of the home team behind the Emerald Isle contingent in fourth. Donnacha’s dad Aidan rerouted Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Peaceful to Chantilly after not liking the Epsom Oaks prize money offered.
Fancy Blue reversed that Irish Classic form in France, however. The filly by Japanese super sire Deep Impact swapped yards from father to son over the winter.
It may be the first of many Group 1s for O’Brien junior on a day when a British runner claimed the Prix du Jockey Club.
That was Mishriff for John Gosden, who made an effortless step up from Listed company at 15/2.
Ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal, he was always handy as favourite and French 2000 Guineas winner Victor Ludorum fell out of the stalls.
It was a mixed day for powerful global owners Godolphin who suffered a number of reverses but won the Eclipse at Sandown.
Victor Ludorum had too much to do and his run petered out as he came finished third behind Prix de Fontainebleau conqueror The Summit.
This was all about Mishriff, though, who can be marked up for a 1 1/4 lengths win in the French Derby. He found himself short of room after two out but stayed on strongly when switch for a ready victory.
Analysis: Fancy Blue a Classic plan coming off for Coolmore
Jamie Clark, Horsebetting.com Editor
Good to see two of my each-way picks come off in France after a dismal Derby day. Fancy Blue changing stables from one season to the next smacks of “the lads” planning for the future.
I’m sure the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with Donnacha and Aidan. This Prix de Diane triumph was a close run thing with his father’s Peaceful coming down the outside, but she was in front on the line.
Stephane Pasquier didn’t give favourite Alpine Star the same kind of ride that Frankie Dettori did at Royal Ascot. Trying to make all when she had won so well tracking the leaders on the inner last time out didn’t pay off.
Alpine Star lost little in defeat, though, and there are races over 10 furlongs or back at a mile even to be won with her.
Jean-Claude Rouget and Sheikh Hamdan will wonder whether Prix Saint-Alary heroine Tawkeel rather than Raabihah should have contested the Prix de Diane. Both were entered in the French Oaks, but didn’t take up the engagement.
As for the Prix du Jockey Club, Mishriff won it well. I felt Pierre-Charles Boudot made too much use of Ocean Atlantique, while Victor Ludorum disappointed again.
Perhaps he just didn’t see the closing stages out. Mishriff did that and more with a commanding victory compared to the scramble for the line with the fillies.
Boudot was better on Fancy Blues who found plenty for pressure in the final furlong to just hold on. The late switch of target for Peaceful didn’t quite work out.
Something like the Yorkshire Oaks, if Ballydoyle stable companion Love isn’t bound for the Ebor Festival, up in trip could suit her.