04/24/2011 4:28PM

Japanese 2000 Guineas goes to Orfevre

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Orfevre won his second consecutive stakes in the Japanese 2000 Guineas at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday, weaving his way through traffic in early stretch to win the $2.3 million race by three lengths.

Ridden by Kenichi Ikezoe for trainer Yasutoshi Ikee, Orfevre, a 10-1 shot, outfinished Sadamu Patek, the 5-2 favorite in the field of 18. Danon Ballade finished third.

Orfevre was timed in 2:00.60 for the race over about 1 1/4 miles on turf. The race, formally known as the Satsuki Sho, was postponed a week and moved from Nakayama to Tokyo after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.

Orfevere, by Stay Gold, has won 3 of 7 starts for Sunday Racing. The Japanese-bred colt won the Group 2 Sprint Stakes at Hanshin Racecourse in March and placed in two Group 3 races earlier this year.

The race was run before a crowd of 80,940. The 2000 Guineas was the first leg of the Japanese Triple Crown, which continues with the Japan Derby on May 29.

Longchamp: Grand Vent throws hat in French Derby ring

Grand Vent, racing for the Maktoum family’s Godolphin Racing and trainer Andre Fabre, leapt to the fore of the French Derby picture with a half-length win in the Group 2 Prix Noailles at Longchamp in Paris on Sunday.

Ridden by Maxime Guyon, Grand Vent (the 7-2 co-favorite) was fifth early and took the lead inside the final furlong to win the race over about 1 1/4 miles.

Durer finished second, followed by Touz Price in the field of eight. Moonyr, also 7-2, finished last.

Grand Vent, by Shirocco, has won 2 of 5 starts. The Prix Noailles was his first stakes win, preceded by third-place finishes in races last October and earlier this month. The French Derby is at Chantilly on June 5, and Grand Vent could have his final prep race in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart over about 1 3/8 miles at Longchamp on May 15.

Sunday at Longchamp, Fabre also won the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte with Golden Lilac, a leading contender for the French 1000 Guineas at Longchamp on May 15. Ridden by Guyon, Golden Lilac won the one-mile race by 1 1/2 lengths over Mixed Intention.

Golden Lilac, by Galileo, is unbeaten in three starts for owner Gestut Ammerland. The Prix de la Grotte was her stakes debut.

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