Senga Wins French Oaks

Sun 18th Jun 2017, 18:31

Rhododendron
©Healy Racing Photos
Rhododendron reportedly bled from the nose and was pulled up in the Prix de Diane as Senga won a rough renewal of the Chantilly Classic.

Aidan O'Brien's filly found only stablemate Winter too strong in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket at the start of last month and was then outstayed by the John Gosden-trained Enable in the Oaks at Epsom a little over a fortnight ago.

Rhododendron appeared to be well positioned in the middle of the pack at the halfway stage of the French Oaks, but was pulled up quickly by Ryan Moore, who dismounted before the home turn.

Gosden's Shutter Speed brought an unbeaten record and strong form to the table, having beaten stablemate Enable at Newbury before landing the Musidora Stakes at York.

Frankie Dettori managed to navigate his mount across from her wide draw and she looked to be delivering a strong challenge in the straight.

However, she had no answer when Pascal Bary's Senga found top gear in the hands of Stephane Pasquier and ended up finishing fourth.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for successful owners Flaxman Stables, told Press Association Sport: "We're absolutely thrilled with her performance.

"We were expecting a good run, if she stayed. She obviously enjoyed the extra ground and won well.

"She only ran two weeks ago and has had a busy year so far, so she's going to have a rest now.

"We'll see when she comes back whether we step her up in trip or come back down."

It was a closely-run thing for second, with Sistercharlie narrowly getting the better of Terrakova.

There was further drama earlier in the race as Christophe Soumillon was unseated from Onthemoonagain.

The Belgian-born rider was stood down for the remainder of the day after he suffered a suspected shoulder injury.

Bary said of the winner: "She is a fantastic filly, from a fantastic breeding operation.

"We definitely ran her over too short a distance before.

"Her connections trusted me to let her run in this race, despite having run only two weeks ago.

"She had a good run, in a race with consistent pace, and showed a superb turn of foot."

Gosden was really happy with Shutter Speed.

He said: "She delivered a superb performance, and there are no excuses.

"She jumped from a wide draw as well as she could. I thought that Frankie Dettori rode her very well.

"At one point she looked like she was coming to win."

Henri-Alex Pantall was left to rue a turbulent dash to the line for runner-up Sistercharlie.

He said: "She didn't have a clear run, neither in the turn nor the straight, where she had to wind he way through.

"It's a shame when you see the way she finished, but that's racing."

The beautifully-bred Terrakova is now poised for a rise in distance after she caught the eye in third place.

Trainer Freddy Head said: "She put up a great performance as she had been caught flat-footed when the rest of the field kicked.

"She got a few bumps, so she couldn't follow them when they jumped and so couldn't get near the pace.

"Despite that, she ran well. It's only her third start, and it's promising. She should step up in trip to a mile and a half."

Lennon makes it two in two days

Local trainer Liam Lennon landed his second winner in two days at Downpatrick when heavily-backed I'm An Izz Whizz delivered in the extended two mile three handicap chase.

THE IRISH TIMES