08/13/2017 2:36PM

Al Wukair takes Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville, Thunder Snow third


Al Wukair took the lead in the last stride of Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois for turf milers at Deauville Racecourse in France, prevailing in a three-horse photo for the first major win of his career.

Al Wukair (4-1) was always close to the front in a compact field of six, and won by a short head over 15-1 Inns of Court, giving trainer Andre Fabre a sweep of the first two positions.

Thunder Snow, the 8-5 favorite who set the pace, was beaten a short neck by Inns of Court, and was followed by Trais Flours, Tareef and Gold Luck.

Frankie Dettori rode Al Wukair and told British television that his mount “woke up” in the final furlong after being struck in the face by the whip of jockey Christophe Soumillon, who rode Thunder Snow.

Thunder Snow was pulled up in the Kentucky Derby on May 6 after he began bucking shortly after the start. Thunder Snow has finished in the first three in four subsequent starts.

Al Wukair earned a fees-paid berth for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on Nov. 4 with Sunday’s win, but is more likely to stay in Europe in early fall, with the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at a mile at Ascot on Oct. 21 considered a goal, Fabre told the European press.

Al Wukair won his first Group 1 race in the $827,960 Jacques le Marois. Earlier this year, he was third in the Group 1 English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse in May and second to Taareef in the Group 3 Prix Messidor at Maisons-Laffitte Racecourse outside of Paris last month.

An Irish-bred 3-year-old colt, Al Wukair, who is by Dream Ahead, has won 4 of 6 starts in his career for Al Shaqab Racing.

There were two other Group 1 races in Europe on Sunday.

Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing owns Inns of Court and Thunder Snow. The stable was second and third in Sunday’s Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin at Hoppegarten Racecourse in Germany with Hawkbill and Racing History, who were beaten by Dschingis Secret.

Dschingis Secret won the $206,500 race at 1 1/2 miles on turf by a length over Hawkbill under jockey Adrie de Vries. Dschingis Secret was always near the front and took the lead with a furlong remaining. Hawkbill, the 7-5 favorite, finished 3 1/4 lengths in front of 4-1 Racing History.

Dschingis Secret, by Soldier Hollow, races for Horst Pudwill and trainer Markus Krug. The winner of two Group 2 races, Dschingis Secret was third in the Group 1 German Derby in 2016.

In Ireland, Sioux Nation gave trainer Aidan O’Brien an astonishing 16th career win in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes for 2-year-old colts and fillies at six furlongs on turf at The Curragh.

O’Brien won the race for the first time in 1998 and has won the last four runnings. The current win streak in the Phoenix have all been for the Coolmore team of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Sue Magnier.

Sioux Nation, the 2-1 second choice, closed from fifth in a field of eight, to finish a half-length in front of Beckford, the 9-5 favorite in the $295,000 race. Actress, a filly trained by O’Brien, finished third, beaten two lengths.

Ryan Moore rode Sioux Nation, who won the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

In post-race comments, O’Brien mentioned the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar as a possible goal, with Group 1 stakes in the interim in England and Ireland to be considered. Sioux Nation is a Kentucky-bred by Scat Daddy.