Sheikh Joaan Al Thani (left): another winner for his Al Shaqab Racing
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Peter Scargill 3:00PM 17 JUL 2016
Report: France, Sunday
Maisons-Laffitte: Prix Eugene Adam (Group 2) 1m2f, 3yo
THE result will say Heshem defeated Ultra but it will fail to project the intricacies and chaos that look place over the straight mile and a quarter at Maisons-Laffitte on Sunday.
A race of this distance on a straight course is an abnormality in France and with the whole of the Maisons-Laffitte course to play with the jockeys split into two groups, one on the near rail and a smaller breakaway duo far, far away on the inside rail.
At one point, jockey Christophe Soumillon appeared to be upward of ten lengths clear on Viserano on the far side but he was reeled in by Heshem, who just got the verdict from Ultra and Spectroscope.
Despite the farcical nature of the race, the cream ultimately rose to the top and winning trainer Christophe Ferland is preparing to unleash Heshem on to the bigger stage later in the year after taking a stready approach up to now with the Al Shaqab Racing-owned colt.
“I have always loved this horse at home,” said Ferland. “We skipped the good races in spring and in June, partly because he was a little bit raw and Al Shaqab had some more seasoned horses for those race.
“We always had this race in mind to give him a nice comeback with the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano on August 15 after that.”
Also on Sunday
Maisons-Laffitte: Prix Messidor (Group 3) 1m, 3yo+
VADAMOS showed a smart turn of foot and left his rider punching the air with delight as he ran out an easy winner and got his career back on track.
With doubts surrounding the ability of Dariyan to handle the drop back to a mile, having excelled over 1m2f and 1m4f, Shutterbug set a strong gallop in the lead and when a change of speed was required, Dariyan was found wanting.
Vadamos certainly was not tapped for toe as he surged three lengths clear of his rivals in a performance which clearly delighted jockey Vincent Cheminaud, who clenched his fist in celebration as he cruised over the line on the Andre Fabre-trained winner.
Vadamos had been a dark horse for the Champion Stakes at Ascot last year but trailed in last. He had defeated Ervedya at Group 2 level this season but this performance smacked of class once again.