Victor Ludorum regained the winning thread in style with victory in the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville on Monday.
Sent off the hot 5/4 favourite with British bookies from 2/1 on the morning of the race, the Godolphin owned colt justified his status at the head of the market.
Although given plenty to do by jockey Mickael Barzalona, the son of Shamardal made good headway approaching two out.
Victor Ludorum came under a ride at the furlong marker and kept on well, reversing Prix de Fontainebleau form with The Summit by 1 1/2 lengths.
New Fabre recruit Alson was a further neck behind in third. The trainer’s other runner, Arapaho, halved in price but could only finish a four-length sixth.
Carlos Laffon-Parias’ second-favourite Ecrivain was an eased down last after also failing to fire. The French 2000 Guineas, usually run around a bend at Longchamp, was instead on the Deauville straight mile.
Bookies now make Victor Ludorum the 2/1 favourite for the French Derby (Prix du Jockey Club) on 5 July.
Dream And Do goes one better in the French 1000 Guineas
Fabre’s hopes of a Classic double were dashed as French 1000 Guineas favourite Tropbeau only came fourth. Prix de la Grotte runner-up Dream And Do took the spoils with a gutsy display.
After tracking the leaders and despite getting hampered about 300 yards from home, Frederic Rossi’s filly led at the furlong marker and kept on.
Dream And Do had a ding-dong tussle to the line with Speak Of The Devil, but Maxime Guyon’s mount just held on by a whisker. She dug really deep indeed to win and the front two pulled a couple of lengths clear of outsider Mageva.
British bookies returned Dream And Do at 10/1, though her SP in France was nearer 17/2. This Classic triumph means her odds of landing the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) are now 7/1 (from 14/1) with most firms.
Second-favourite Simeen found her first try in Group company too hot to handle for Jean-Claude Rouget and the Aga Khan.
Analysis: Victor Ludorum teaches important lesson
Jamie Clark, Horsebetting.com Editor
If French Guineas day taught us anything, it’s that winning a Classic trial en route isn’t mandatory. Victor Ludorum was only third in the Fontainebleau, but bounced back for a cosy success at Deauville.
Dream And Do, meanwhile, had half-a-length to find on Tropbeau from her prep run. Both of these French Classic heroes improved for an outing, then.
As fashionable as it may be to go to the Guineas in whatever European country without a run, this suggests in an extraordinary year that prevailing trends may not apply.
Alson was the only horse placing in the Classics that came into them without an outing under his belt. It’s better horses are race-fit.
Before punters go piling into either Victor Ludorum or Dream And Do for the French Derby and Oaks, a word of caution. There are Classic contenders who skipped the Guineas in favour of a different route.