05/26/2013 2:08PM

Longchamp: Maxios takes Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan


Maxios maintained his strong form while running Planteur into a second-place finish for the second straight year in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan on Sunday at Longchamp in France.

The 5-year-old Maxios, a Niarchos family homebred by Monsun, had a lost 3-year-old season in 2011 and only reached the Group 3 level last year at 4, but he has put together a three-race string of peak performances this spring, winning the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt and finishing second in the Group 1 Prix Ganay before posting his first Group 1 win Sunday.

Maxios, ridden by Stephane Pasquier for trainer Jonathan Pease, raced along the inside rail for most of the 1 1/8-mile Ispahan, contested on soft going, working his way out of a tight spot with a little less than three furlongs to run.

Planteur, coming off a third-place finish in the Dubai World Cup, pressed the pace and took over from Don Bosco in the final quarter-mile, but his finishing kick might have been diluted by his hard pulling early in the race, and he could not quite match Maxios’s rally, coming up a half-length short after losing by three-quarters of a length in the 2012 Ispahan.

Mandour, who broke poorly and had to extricate himself from traffic at the back of the field for his stretch run, finished well for third, three-quarters of a length behind Planteur. Beauty Parlour, in from England for trainer Henry Cecil, came home a flat sixth, while Saonois was a late scratch.

Maxios’s victory further boosted the rising stock of the German colt Pastorius, who comfortably handled Maxios in the Ganay.

Silasol by a nose in Prix Saint-Alary

In the other Group 1 race Sunday at Longchamp, Silasol rallied furiously in the late stages of the Prix Saint-Alary to win by a nose over Alterite in a 1 1/4-mile test for 3-year-old fillies.

Silasol, a Wertheimer et Frere homebred trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, won all three of her starts at 2, including the Group 1 Marcel-Boussac, but could only finish second to Esoterique when making her 3-year-old debut in the April 28 Prix Vanteaux. But Esoterique is a fine filly in her own right, and Silasol was back on point Sunday, rolling from the back of the pack under Olivier Peslier to get up in the last stride.

Alterite – owned by American Martin Schwartz – probably ran the best race of her life to just miss, while Silasol’s stablemate, Ferevia, also came on strongly from the rear of the field to miss the place by only a neck.

The top three finishers all could meet again next month in what should be an excellent edition of the Prix de Diane, or French Oaks.