Weld narrowly denied in Chantilly

 

Racing: Dermot Weld's Famous Name was agonisingly denied in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly by Vision D'Etat.

The unbeaten colt gave trainer Eric Libaud the biggest victory of his career and was partnered by Ioritz Mendizabal.

Newmarket 1000 Guineas winner Natagora ran a game race for Frankie Dettori and finished third in her bid to become the first member of the fairer sex to land the French Derby in over 100 years.

Dettori elected to let the two pacemakers have their own way in front and settled the grey filly in third.

He took up the running two out but was quickly challenged by favourite High Rock and the eventual winner.

Pat Smullen came with a withering run down the outside on Famous Name and looked likely to get his head in front before Vision D'Etat pulled out more to just prevail.

Libaud said: "He has been a bit of a difficult horse so he hasn't run that often.

"We made a plan when we thought he was good enough to run in a Classic to give him two starts beforehand.

"We gave him five or six weeks between each run as that is what the horse needs.

"The horse is progressing with each run. He has still not matured and will improve again for the race."

Weld said of the runner-up, who was beaten a head: "He's come from stall 17 and second is a lonely place.

"Pat has ridden a cracker but he got pushed wide while the winner got a nice ride up the middle of the track. If you put them together you'd have a different result."

On the back of Famous Name's run Ladbrokes chose to trim Casual Conquest to 5-2 from 7-2 for the English equivalent.

Weld said: "It's the start of a busy week and time will tell. A decision on Casual Conquest's supplementary (for Epsom) will be made in the morning."

Dettori said of Natagora: "She's a superstar filly and it was a good effort. In the last 200 metres she was tired but then came back at the end."

Her trainer Pascal Bary said: "She's a great filly. Frankie said she stayed 1900 metres and the race was 100 metres too far. She deserves a rest and we'll bring her back for the Prix D'Astarte."