05/14/2017 3:29PM

Brametot's nose hits wire first in French 2000 Guineas


Brametot came charging out of the back of the pack from the stand’s side and converged in the final yards with Le Brivido, who was running on the opposite side of the Deauville course. The two 3-year-olds came together in the final half-furlong of the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains on Sunday, and Brametot came away with a nose victory.

Brametot gave his esteemed trainer, Jean-Claude Rouget, his first win in France’s version of the 2000 Guineas. Rouget long has been among the top trainers in France, and said after Sunday’s race that the win felt especially satisfying because his stable recently was afflicted by an outbreak of the very dangerous equine herpesvirus.

Brametot now sports a flashy career record of 6-5-1-0, but Rouget kept the colt to modest competition during a four-start 2-year-old campaign. Brametot’s 3-year-old debut in the Group 3 Prix Fountainebleau marked his first group-stakes start, and in it he overcame a botched break to run past a decent field with speed to spare.

Brametot was away slightly better Sunday but still had plenty to do halfway through the straight-course mile while racing near the back of the stand’s side group after the Guineas field fractured early into factions spread across the course. Wearing the silks of Al Shaqab racing, which purchased an interest in the colt earlier this week, Brametot was relentless through the final quarter-mile under Christian Demuro, and while his margin of victory was narrow, he was going slightly better than Le Brivido at the finish.

The time for the mile on a soft course was 1:36.82.

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Get handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.

The Andre Fabre-trained Le Brivido, who was making his group-stakes debut, proved a revelation in the Guineas. Racing from a stalking position in the far-side group, Le Brivido and Pierre-Charles Boudot left their cover about 1 1/2 furlongs out and went for the wire on the far outside. They finished well – coming home three lengths ahead of third-place Rivet – but just not quite well enough to beat Brametot.

Rivet had the lead about a furlong out but could not produce the same late turn of foot as the top two while also well clear of the nearest horse behind him, Spotify, who was fourth by six lengths. National Defense, who was one of France’s top 2-year-olds last year but a total non-factor Sunday, was the race’s big disappointment. He was eased home last by Christophe Soumillon after failing to accelerate when asked.

Brametot is by Rajsaman and out of the Law Society mare Morning Light; his other owner is Gerard Augustin-Normand. Rouget said he wants to race Brametot over longer distances and plans to try his colt in the Prix du Jockey Club, or French Derby. Trainer William Haggas said the same race would be the goal for Rivet, while Le Brivido could stick to one-mile races for the time being.

Sobetsu wins Prix Saint-Alary

Godolphin’s runner Sobetsu was a three-length winner of the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary earlier on the Deauville card. Sobetsu, trained by Charlie Appleby, was said to dislike fast ground when a disappointing fifth in the Group 1 Fillies Mile in her 2016 finale, and was much happier on soft turf Sunday. Vue Fantastique finished second, and Coronet was third in the 1 1/4- mile race for 3-year-old fillies. Charlie Appleby trains Sobetsu, a daughter of Dubawi and the Darshaan mare Lake Toya. Sobetsu could make her next start either in the Epsom Oaks or the Prix de Diane (French Derby), and will go where the ground is most suitable, Appleby said.