05/15/2011 2:05PM

French 2000 Guineas: Previously unbeaten Wootten Bassett can do no better than fifth


Wootton Bassett was knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten when finishing fifth behind victorious Tin Horse in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas, on Sunday at Longchamp, while Golden Lilac remained undefeated with a definitive tally in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas.

English-based Wootton Bassett entered Sunday’s race 4 for 4 in his career, capping a strong 2-year-old campaign by winning the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere last October at Longchamp. But Wootton Bassett was hampered by drawing post 14 in a 15-horse field Sunday, and after leading for about the first seven furlongs of the one-mile 2000 Guineas, Wootton Bassett caved in. Instead it was Tin Horse, who dead-heated for second in the Lagardere, his most recent race, quickening swiftly through the final quarter-mile under Thierry Jarnet. Tin Horse took the lead about 150 yards from the finish, winning by two lengths over Havane Smoker, who was a nose better than Venomous. Winning time for the mile on good ground was 1:36.33.

Tin Horse, now 3 for 7 lifetime, is an Irish-bred son of Sakhee who is trained by David Guillemin and owned by the Marquesa de Moratalla. Tin Horse is said to be a candidate for the St. James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, where he would face the unbeaten Frankel.

Meanwhile, Golden Lilac is beginning to look like an unusually talented filly after dominating the French 1000 Guineas. Now 4 for 4, Golden Lilac easily handled her first try in a Group 1 race despite pulling hard on the reins while pressing a slow early pace. Golden Lilac and Olivier Peslier took the lead about 1 1/2 furlongs from the finish and never faced a serious challenge, with longshot pacesetter Glorious Sight second, and Wild Wind third. A daughter of Galileo bred and owned by Gestut Ammerland and trained by Andre Fabre, Golden Lilac will be pointed to the Prix de Diane, or French Oaks.