STYLE VENDOME gave his sire Anabaa Group One success with a narrow victory in the Poule D’Essai Des Poulains (1m) at Longchamp. Style Vendome, trained by Nicholas Clement and ridden by Thierry Thulliez, continued his ascent towards the top of the mile division in France with victory in the 3YO Classic.
In a typically close Longchamp finish, outsider Dastarhon claimed second with Intello, badly hampered by a wide draw, running a stormer to claim third from Gale Force Ten and Havana Gold.
While the grouped finished was predictable, the generous pace was unusual for France as various pacemakers for the leading contenders ensured there were no hiding places.
Gale Force Ten had a perfect sit just behind the leaders as did winner Style Vendome, who had broken from a favourable gate in three.
The draw was always seen as a major problem for favourite Olympic Glory and the unbeaten Intello, who had to sit and suffer at the back of the field before the short sprint for home in the straight.
As the pacesetters faded, the way opened up for Style Vendome and he charged for the line.
Style Vendome had the run of Dastarhon covered on the inside but Havana Gold was weaving his way through under Jamie Spencer while Intello was making ground hand over fist on the outside having left Olympic Glory, and most of the field, for dead. But he could not quite reach the winner.
Clement is eyeing a trip to Royal Ascot with the winner and said: “It was the horse that made the difference. I was a little worried that Thierry had got there too soon but he was very brave.
“The logical next step is the St James’s Palace Stakes but we will have to think about the French Derby as well.”
In a rousing finish in the first classic of the French season, Style Vendome tallied a fifth consecutive win by a neck in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Fr-I), or French Two Thousand Guineas, May 12 at Longchamp.
On cue from Thierry Thulliez, Style Vendome took control in the final 200 meters after racing just behind the leaders early and continued on to defeat Dastarhon, who never looked to overtake the winner. Style Vendome completed the 1,600-meter (about one mile) race in 1:34.68 on turf rated good.
Style Vendome won his first group I race and provided trainer Nicolas Clement with a first classic win.
Intello overcame his far outside draw from post 18, finishing furiously to take third, a head back in a one-two-three finish for French-based runners.
Highly regard Olympic Glory, a French group I winner based in England with trainer Richard Hannon, finished 11th as the 4-1 favorite with Racing Post. He never got going after breaking from post 12 and raced at the back of the field for most of the trip. Stablemate Havana Gold fared better, finishing fifth, a head behind trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Gale Force Ten.
Owned by Andre de Ganay and Christian Baillet, Style Vendome came into off a 2 1/2-length triumph in the seven-furlong Prix Djebel (Fr-III), the Poule d’Essai des Poulains trial, April 4 at Maisons-Laffitte. The son of European champion sprinter Anabaa put to rest any doubt about his ability to stretch out as his victory was quite convincing.
The gray colt was bred in France by Guy Pariente and bought by Clement for $132,434 out of the Haras de Colleville, agent, consignment at the 2011 Arqana Deauville yearling sale.
In his career debut, Style Vendome was the runner-up to Pearl Flute in the 2012 Prix Yacowlef last June at Deauville but initiated a progressive four-race win streak that led up to his French Guineas win.
Style Vendome is from the final crop of former Central Kentucky sire Anabaa, who died in France in 2009 from complications of colic surgery. His dam is stakes-placed sprinter Place Vendome, by Dr Fong. Second dam Mediaeval is a half sister to French group I-placed sprinter Dobby Road.
Clement, brother of U.S.-based trainer Christophe Clement, said a trip to Royal Ascot for the one-mile St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) June 18 could be next for Style Vendome. The Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I), or French Derby, at 2,100 meters (about 1 5/16 miles) June 2 at Chantilly also is under consideration.