10/02/2016 1:29PM

France: Limato strengthens Breeders' Cup credentials


Limato won his second Group 1 sprint of the European season in Sunday’s $336,930 Prix de la Foret at seven furlongs at Chantilly Racecourse in France, and is expected to race at Santa Anita on the Breeders’ Cup program on Nov. 5.

Limato is the future-book favorite with British bookmakers for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, but could also be considered for the BC Mile, trainer Henry Candy said after the Prix de la Foret.

The Prix de la Foret was the sixth and final Group 1 race on the Chantilly program, which was led by the $5.56 million Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s richest race.

The Chantilly undercard may produce other Breeders’ Cup runners.

Speedy Boarding (9-2) won the $449,240 Prix de l’Opera for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf, which is likely to be her final start before retirement. So Mi Dar, third as the 4-5 favorite, raced in traffic early and was beaten a half-length. Trained by John Gosden, So Mi Dar is a candidate for the BC Filly and Mare Turf.

Speedy Boarding earned a fees-paid berth to the BC Filly and Mare Turf through the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, if trainer James Fanshawe decides to give her another start.

The two Group 1 races for juveniles, both at a mile on turf, also had Win and You’re In provisions. National Defense (4-1) won the $383,085 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere for colts and fillies, while Wuheida (9-1) won the $336,930 Prix Marcel Boussac for fillies. It is unlikely they will start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf or Juvenile Fillies Turf.

National Defense, trained by Criquette Head, led throughout to win the Jean-Luc Lagardere by 4 1/2 lengths over 9-1 Salouen. The Jean Luc Lagardere was the first stakes win for National Defense in his third start.

Wuheida was always near the front in a field of 11 in the Prix Marcel Boussac and closed well in the final furlong to finish three-quarters of a length in front of Promise to Be True, a 4-1 shot trained by Aidan O’Brien. Wuheida is trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin Racing, and is not likely to race again this year.

Limato (4-5) won the Prix de la Foret by three lengths over 25-1 Karar. Limato won the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket during the summer.

Marsha (23-1) won the shortest race of the day, the $393,085 Prix de l’Abbaye at five furlongs, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of 11 Washington D C. Marsha, trained by Mark Prescott, took the lead in the final sixteenth to win the 17-runner race.

A 3-year-old filly, Marsha won two minor sprint stakes in England earlier this year.