06/18/2017 1:03PM

Senga's powerful finish gives her Prix de Diane triumph


Senga finished powerfully to win a chaotic edition of the Group 1 Prix de Diane on Sunday at Chantilly.

Coming home on the outside under Stephane Pasquier, Senga, the well-beaten favorite in the French 1000 Guineas this spring, got home a full length clear of Sistercharlie, whose connections surely were left wondering what might have been after their filly was stuck in traffic midstretch before coming with a strong run between horses while going best at the wire.

Terrakova, the 3-year-old daughter of the great Goldikova, finished third, a nose behind Sistercharlie, with Shutter Speed, who had moved with Senga a quarter-mile out, fading the last half-furlong to finish fourth in France’s version of the Oaks.

Rhododendron, second in the Epsom Oaks and the English 1000 Guineas, was pulled up on the turn by Ryan Moore. The Racing Post reported that the filly had bled. 

The 15 fillies still left running in the homestretch bunched together in a scrum, and things got very tight for several horses 2 1/2 furlongs out.

Onthemoonagain took the very worst of things, clipping heels and falling, with Christophe Soumillon hitting the turf. Soumillon posted a Tweet after the race saying all was well with both he and his mount.

Senga raced well back in the field for much of the race, and shortly after cornering into the homestretch, Pasquier had to briefly snatch up his mount. But he soon guided Senga into the clear, and she made a sustained run while drifting down toward the rail to notch the first Group 1 win of her career. Over good ground, Senga was timed in 2:05.97 for the 1 5/16 miles.

Trained by Pascal Bary, Senga was bred and is owned by the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings. Bred in the U.S., the filly provided a big win for the Claiborne Farm stallion Blame. Senga was produced by the A.P. Indy mare Beta Leo. Senga won two of five starts last year at age 2, and after a disappointing 11th-place finish in the French Guineas she was third two weeks ago in the Prix de Sandringham, a race that evidently set her up perfectly for Sunday’s big race.