08/14/2010 10:59AM

Vision d'Etat returns with sharp score at Deauville


Vision d’Etat made a successful return to the races at Deauville on Saturday, scoring a rather handy one-length victory in the Group 3, $103,000 Prix Gontaut-Biron, a race that lost some of its luster when Argentine champion Interaction was a late scratch.

A four-time Group 1 winner in France, England, and Hong Kong, Vision d’Etat received a ground-saving ride from Olivier Peslier in the 10-furlong contest which was the 5-year-old son of Chichicastenango’s first start since finishing 12th in the Dubai World Cup.

With the field going wide into the stretch in search of better ground, Vision d’Etat had a clear run to the line and did not have to exert himself unduly to defeat German raider Budai, who took second by 1 1/2 lengths from Cirrus des Aigles. The even-money favorite Agent Secret, recent winner of the Group 3 Grand Prix de Vichy, faded to finish seventh, 8 1/4 lengths behind the winner, who was timed in 2:12.10 over very soft ground.

Sent off at a generous 3.70-1 despite victories in the French Derby, the Prix Ganay, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Hong Kong Cup, Vision d’Etat confirmed that he is one of the best 10-furlong turf horses in the world. He had returned from Dubai sore but looked very much like his old self on Saturday, prompting trainer Eric Libaud to say that he would use the Group 3 La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte on Sept. 24 as a prep for the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 14, both of which are run on straight 10-furlong courses. If all goes according to plan, Vision d’Etat will then travel to Sha Tin for a defense of his Hong Kong Cup title.

Peinture Rare breaks losing streak in Group 2

With pre-race favorite Daryakana a late scratch, Peinture Rare, a Sadler’s Wells half-sister to Arc winner and European champion Peintre Celebre, broke a five-race losing streak in defeating George Strawbridge’s High Heeled by a length in the Group 2, $166,000 Prix de Pomone at 1 9/16 miles. Ridden by Anthony Crastus, the Elie Lellouche-trained 4-year-old led at the eighth pole and was not troubled late as High Heeled close like a shot to get up for second by a nose from Burn the Breeze.

The winning 11.20-1 shot was timed in 2:53.10 and will step up to Group 1 company on Sept. 12 at Longchamp in the 1 1/2-mile Prix Vermeille.