Updated on 09/17/2011 9:37PM

Divine Proportions devastating in French Oaks


Sunday was coronation day at Chantilly where Divine Proportions established herself as the best 3-year-old filly in the world with a devastating performance in the Group 1 Prix de Diane.

The undefeated daughter of Kingmambo maintained her perfect record in the $960,000 French Oaks with a runaway victory in which she inflicted a personal slap in the face to her main rival, the previously unbeaten Vadawina.

With the pacesetters of the two favorites, Sapas for the 4-5 Divine Proportions and Alharmna for the 7-5 Vadawina, cutting out a sharp early pace on good ground, Christophe Lemaire had French 1000 Guineas winner Divine Proportions in fifth while Christophe Soumillon was content to settle Vadawina back in eighth. Soumillon and Vadawina skimmed the rail into a brief lead at the head of the 3-furlong stretch but Lemaire was right there with Divine Proportions, who was still under cruise control at the 5/16ths pole.

Suddenly, it was all over. Divine Proportions quickened clear at the quarter pole without Lemaire having to lift a hand in warning. She had met the challenge of Vadawina and sent the Prix Saint-Alary winner spinning into reverse. Divine Proportions galloped to the line a handy 3-length winner over Argentina with German invader Paita half a length further back in third. A chastened Vadawina was merely fourth, 4-1/4 lengths in arrears of Divine Proportions.

The winning time of 2:06.30 for the 1 5/16 miles was the fastest recorded for the Prix de Diane since Lypharita's 2:05.90 in 1985.

"She is superb," said winning trainer Pascal Bary. "She never got tired even though this was her first try beyond a mile."

While the word "class" is the first that comes to mind when searching for superlatives to describe Divine Proportions, "versatility" arrives in the same breath. To that end, the Niarchos Family will send her back to a mile for an initial meeting with older colts in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on August 14, after which she could very well be tested at the European classic distance of a mile and a half.

"The plan is to run her in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe," said the Niarchos Family's racing manager Alan Cooper, "but of course we will see how she goes at Deauville first."

That ambitious program, while well within the grasp of the talented Divine Proportions, could lead to a match with her Jonathan Pease-trained, Niarchos Family-owned entrymate Bago, the defending Arc champion who is scheduled to go next in the 1 1/2-mile Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 26. Afterwards, one or another race in the Breeders' Cup is on the drawing board for both Divine Proportions and Bago, pending more immediate results.

Be it be Deauville, Longchamp or Belmont Park, be it against older colts or members of her own sex at any age, Divine Proportions is the filly the world must now take note of. Indeed, she is one to whom the racing world could be paying homage for many years to come.

*French Oaks day at Chantilly produced another Breeders' Cup probable when the 2-1 Cacique led throughout to take the one-mile Group 3 Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord by 3 lengths over Special Kaldoun for Khalid Abdullah and Andre Fabre. Winner of the one-mile Group 2 Prix Dollar on similar good ground at Longchamp last October, Cacique is a Danehill full brother to Banks Hill. Fabre said he will run next in the one-mile Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sept. 4 as a prep for her date in the Breeders' Cup Mile.