Updated on 09/15/2011 1:23PM

Act One is only act French need


Aidan O'Brien's bid to win all 10 of the season's European Group 1 races for 2-year-old colts came up short Saturday at Saint-Cloud in France.

O'Brien sent out three of the six horses in the Criterium International, but Act One, the lone French horse in the race, played the spoiler's role by scoring a half-length victory in the one-mile turf race.

Act One, who sat in second place during the early running, took the lead with just under two furlongs remaining and was able to hold off a late charge by one of O'Brien's horses, Landseer.

O'Brien's other runners, Mutinyonthebounty and Diaghilev, finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

"We were beaten by a very good horse," O'Brien said.

With his win in 1:47.10, Act One, ridden by Thierry Gillet for trainer Jonathan Pease and owner Gerald Leigh, remained unbeaten.

It was Pease's first major stakes victory since he saddled Spinning World in the 1997 Breeders' Cup Mile. Pease said that the long-range goal for Act One is the Irish Derby.

Gillet, who earned his first victory in a Group 1 race, said Act One won easily. "He has two accelerations. He picks up well and then he accelerates again at the end."

Ethereal tops Melbourne Cup

Ethereal, winner of the Caulfield Cup, heads a field of 20 horses for the $2.1 million Toohey's New Melbourne Cup on Tuesday in Melbourne, Australia.

Australia's most famous race, contested at two miles, also features two horses from Godolphin Racing. Marienbard, third in the Irish St. Leger, will be ridden by Frankie Dettori. His stablemate, Give the Slip, has spent most of the year serving as a pacemaker for Fantastic Light.

Caitano, fourth in the Arlington Million, is also in the field.

Persian Punch, a 9-year-old who finished third in the 1997 Melbourne Cup, is the starting highweight at 127 pounds.

Other contenders include Moonee Valley Cup winner Rain Gauge; Universal Prince, the winner of last year's AJC Derby; and Kaapstad Way, who finished fourth in last year's Melbourne Cup as the favorite.