Wave too strong for Fantasia


Longchamp:Luca Cumani's Fantasia could finish only third behind a Jean-Claude Rouget-trained one-two as Elusive Wave led home Tamazirte in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) at Longchamp.

Frankie Dettori was in the perfect position throughout on the Nell Gwyn winner as he sat second behind Elusive Wave.

He asked the Cumani filly for an effort two furlongs out but the acceleration she showed at Newmarket was lacking as Christophe Lemaire kicked again on Elusive Wave.

Tamazirte made headway late on but never looked like getting to her stablemate.

The winner has only tasted defeat once in six career starts, behind Proportional in the Prix Marcel Boussac last October.

The Elusive City filly is owned by American Martin Schwartz, who won the Coronation Stakes when Royal Ascot was held at York with Maids Causeway.

Jim Bolger's Oh Goodness Me never got competitive at the business end and Kevin Ryan's Undaunted Affair was always in the rear.

Rouget said: "It is nice to see the form of the prep race working out. She is always keen at the beginning of her races and we knew that what happened when she broke from the stalls would influence how the race panned out.

"Christophe gave her a great ride. I'd like to get them both home before making a plan, but the Coronation and the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) would both be options for Elusive Wave."

Cumani said: "We decided to ride up with the pace due to the way most French races are run. The winner has made all and we were still second two furlongs out but have finished pretty much where we started.

"In this type of race she would need a mile and a quarter, she has been working very well and I couldn't have been happier with her. Frankie said the ground was good and only blamed the way the race was run.

"I would say we would look at the Diane for her, as I am reluctant to go from a mile to a mile and a half at Epsom, and would rather take incremental steps.

"I am disappointed as she was favourite. If she had not been favourite and had finished third in a Group One it wouldn't have been a bad result, but there was a lot of expectation."

The defeat was a second Classic reverse in a week for Fantasia's American owner, George Strawbridge, who saw his Rainbow View beaten when red-hot favourite in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last weekend.

Referring to the pair, Strawbridge said: "I couldn't stand for one to beat the other, so they will go their separate ways. They both want different distances and they will avoid each other that way.

"It is distinctly possible Rainbow View will run at Epsom (in the Oaks), and I don't see the distance (mile and a half) being a problem. We will discuss options for this filly with Luca. She is still a very good filly, and has been beaten by two very good fillies today. It is a very competitive game over here."

Proportional finished fourth and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "We have no excuses or complaints. She had a good position, had every chance in the straight and stayed on. We will have a think about the Diane."