St Mark’s Basilica gave Aidan O’Brien a first victory in the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club with a brilliant effort at Chantilly.
The son of Siyouni was confidently ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal to run away from the opposition in the closing stages and join an elite band of horses to complete the French 2000 Guineas/Derby double.
St Mark’s Basilica (11-4 favourite) broke away from he stalls well and was always in a good position, close to the pace set by Normandy Bridge.
The latter led into the straight, but was quickly tackled by El Drama, who did his best to set sail for home.
Mendizabal had the move covered, however, and St Mark’s Basilica was soon in command – putting the race to bed in a matter of strides.
Sealiway (66-1) was second just ahead of the fast-finishing Millebosc in third.
Mendizabal – who performed a Frankie Dettori-style flying dismount -said: “This morning I spoke with Aidan, and he asked me not to go to the front too early, so I waited as long as I could. He was going so well that I had to go to the front a little bit further out than I wanted.
“But he has won like a horse that would stay the full Classic distance (mile and a half) and any question of him getting the (extended 10-furlong) trip today, he proved.
“He’s a very good horse. He could be an Arc de Triomphe horse in two or three months. The distance is no problem.
“I had a perfect run on the inside and the gaps opened up very nicely for me.”
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