07/14/2011 3:50PM

Longchamp: Meandre surprises in Grand Prix de Paris


Neither Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach nor French Derby winner Reliable Man could produce his best form Thursday in the Grand Prix de Paris, and it was unheralded Meandre up late under Maxime Guyon to catch pacesetting Seville in the final furlong.

Meandre had won just 2 of 8 starts before Thursday’s race at Longchamp, and he never had so much as contested a group stakes of any sort. But Meandre’s trainer, Andre Fabre, knows something about what kind of horse suits the Grand Prix de Paris, as Meandre provided Fabre with his 11th winner in the Group 1 race for 3-year-olds. Meandre, a son of Slickly bred and owned by the Rothschild family, was a supplementary entry to the race.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Seville quickly set off for the lead over a course rated good to soft, pursued by his stablemate Treasure Beach, and a mile into the race, the first two had opened considerable distance on the five others in the race. But the margin narrowed soon after turning into the long stretch run. Treasure Beach’s strides shortened noticeably a furlong and a half from home, and while Seville ran on decently he was no match for Meandre, who was produced outside Treasure Beach and took the lead about 100 yards out. Reliable Man, who suffered his first loss, never reached contention and edged Treasure Beach for third. The winner was timed in 2:26.63 for 1 1/2 miles.