Senga Wins a Drama-Filled Prix de Diane

4th at CHY, Gr. Stk, €1,000,000G1 Prix de Diane Longines (10 1/2f)Winner: Senga, f, 3 by Blame

Senga | Scoop Dyga

By Tom Frary

With the G1 1000 Guineas and G1 Epsom Oaks runner-up Rhododendron (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) pulling up before halfway and the Rouget filly Onthemoonagain (Fr) (Cape Cross {Ire}) stumbling and unseating Christophe Soumillon inside the last quarter mile, Sunday’s G1 Prix de Diane Longines had its fair share of theatrics before the Niarchos Family’s Senga (Blame) emerged to spring a 22-1 upset. Up in trip after a latest third in the G2 Prix de Sandringham over a mile also at Chantilly June 4, the homebred tracked the 23-10 favourite Shutter Speed (GB) (Dansili {GB}) a little worse than mid-division under Stephane Pasquier before delivering a telling turn of acceleration to take command with 300 metres remaining. Clear before Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) finished with a vengeance from rear, the bay had a fast-diminishing length to spare at the finish over that rival who denied Terrakova (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) the runner’s-up spot by a nose. “This is a fantastic moment for the Niarchos Family–this is the fifth generation of the family that we have had major success with, as the foundation mare Coup de Folie was bought at auction in 1984,” the owner-breeders’s Alan Cooper commented. “We are very proud of this achievement and will cherish it.”

Sunday, Chantilly, France
PRIX DE DIANE LONGINES-G1, €1,000,000, CHY, 6-18, 3yo, f, 10 1/2fT, 2:05.97, gd.
1–&SENGA, 126, f, 3, by Blame
 1st Dam: Beta Leo, by A.P. Indy
 2nd Dam: Denebola, by Storm Cat
 3rd Dam: Coup de Genie, by Mr. Prospector
O-Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd; B-Flaxman Holdings Ltd (KY);
T-Pascal Bary; J-Stephane Pasquier. €571,400. Lifetime Record:
7-3-1-1, €667,860. *1/2 to Bolting (War Front), SW-Fr.  Click
for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A++.

2–Sistercharlie (Ire
), 126, f, 3, by Myboycharlie (Ire)
1st Dam: Starlet’s Sister (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Premiere Creation (Fr), by Green Tune
3rd Dam: Allwaki, by Miswaki
(€12,000 Ylg ’15 ARQOCT). O-White Birch Farm & Mme
Jacques Cygler; B-Ecurie des Monceaux (IRE); T-Henri-Alex
Pantall. €228,600.
3–Terrakova (Ire),
126, f, 3, by Galileo (Ire)
1st Dam: Goldikova (Ire), by Anabaa
2nd Dam: Born Gold, by Blushing Groom (Fr)
3rd Dam: Riviere D’or, by Lyphard
‘TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Wertheimer & Frere (IRE); T-Freddy
Head. €114,300.
Margins: 1, NO, HF. Odds: 21.80, 12.10, 5.30.
Also Ran: Shutter Speed (GB), Turf Laurel (Ire), Mademoiselle Marie (Fr), Panthelia (Fr), Yellow Storm (Fr), Monroe Bay (Ire), Kitesurf (GB), Vue Fantastique (Fr), Haya of Fortune (Fr), Festive (Fr), Normandie (Ger). DNF: Onthemoonagain (Fr) (unseated rider), Rhododendron (Ire) (pulled up). Click for the Racing Post result or the free catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


Runner-up over 7 1/2 furlongs in a Deauville debutantes’s contest in August, Senga went one better on the first of her five subsequent starts at a mile at Saint-Cloud the following month before meeting traffic when a strong-closing fourth in the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac here on Arc day. Back at Chantilly for the G3 Prix de la Grotte Apr. 16, she exhibited greenness but still comfortably beat La Sardane (Fr) (Kingsalsa) by a length which set her up for a tilt at Deauville’s G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches. Sent off the 10-3 favourite for the May 13 mile Classic, she faded out of contention to be 11th which was apparently disappointing but in hindsight there is nothing in her pedigree to suggest that the prevalent very soft ground would benefit her in any way. Sent to the Sandringham by Pascal Bary, she was staying on late from out of her ground behind the more positively-ridden but ultimately decisive winner La Sardane who was surprisingly reversing the form of the Grotte.

Under the radar as a result of those two eclipses, Senga’s odds were chiefly due to the presence of the exciting TDN Rising Stars Shutter Speed and Terrakova and Rhododendron and after acting up behind the stalls it was the former that Stephane Pasquier opted to follow at close quarters throughout the early stages. The first surprise turn of the race was the easing down of Rhododendron as Ryan Moore felt the Ballydoyle runner go wrong passing the chateau, but Senga was on the outside and out of the way of the interference which chiefly affected Terrakova. Shutter Speed was sent forward by Frankie Dettori once straightened for home but the Niarchos colour-bearer was all over her straightaway passing the quarter pole. Shortly after, Onthemoonagain lost her footing down towards the rail and lost Soumillon while Sistercharlie was stopped at a crucial point as she was prepared for her finishing effort, while Senga enjoyed a charmed run to put the decisive seal on the race out wide.

Trainer Pascal Bary was enjoying his first Classic success since the same owner-breeders’s Divine Proportions (Kingmambo) won this in 2005 and he said, “I always thought this filly was very good and her last run in the Sandringham was a shade disappointing to me, but she finished so well I thought the longer trip would be better. I know it was only two weeks ago, but she looked great and so I talked about this race to Maria Niarchos and as always she trusted my judgement. She has already had four runs this spring and so needs a break. She is a group 1 winner now and a nice one too.” Sistercharlie’s handler Henri-Alex Pantall was taking a possibly unlucky defeat with humility afterwards. “She has run very well and finished strongly again after not having the best of luck in running, so I have got to be satisfied,” he said, while the Wertheimers’s racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureaux said of Terrakova, “It didn’t go as expected, as she broke slowly and the plan had been to try and make the running. She was left with a lot to do, but finished very well and was gaining at the end. There is no doubt that it was a good, encouraging performance.” Teddy Grimthorpe said of Shutter Speed, “She has run a very gallant race and had every chance, but it looks like she didn’t quite stay the trip.”

Senga’s victory further boosts an already-stellar season for Niarchos breeding and is a triumph for the operation’s policy of seeking out US-based sires for their better mares. A European Classic winner for Blame seemed an outside prospect before Maria Niarchos’s intervention with Beta Leo, a daughter of her G1 Prix Marcel Boussac-winning highweight Denebola. Senga’s half-brother is the useful Listed Prix du Pont Neuf winner Bolting (War Front), while Denebola who is herself by Storm Cat and also finished second in the G1 Prix de la Foret and third in the G1 Prix Morny has visited A. P. Indy three times. Denebola’s dam Coup de Genie was sired by Mr. Prospector before capturing the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Prix de la Salamandre and she also produced the GIII Stuyvesant H., GIII Queens County H. and GIII Aqueduct H. winner Snake Mountain and Pebbles H. and Listed Prix Imprudence scorer and GII Mrs. Revere S. runner-up Glia from matings with A.P. Indy. Glia’s daughters Soothing Touch (Touch Gold) and Dream of Genie (Fr) (Pivotal {GB}) have added further international elements to this dynasty, with the former producing the GI Ashland S., GI Spinster S., GI American Oaks and GI Rodeo Drive S. heroine Emollient (Empire Maker) and the stakes-winning and graded-stakes placed Courtier (Pioneerof the Nile) and Dream of Genie responsible for Fan Dii Na (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) who took the G3 Flower Cup and also the stakes-placed Namura Shingun (Jpn) (Victoire Pisa {Jpn}).

Coup de Genie also produced the G3 Prix de Cabourg scorer and G1 Prix Morny third Loving Kindness (Seattle Slew), who is also the dam of the listed-winning Peace Camp (Storm Cat), and the unraced Moonlight’s Box (Nureyev) who bred the champion Arc hero and sire Bago (Fr) and also the G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and G1 Prix d’Ispahan winner Maxios (GB) (Monsun {Ger}). Coup de Genie’s dam is the aforementioned Coup de Folie (Halo), who boasted five top-class individuals including Machiavellian and Exit to Nowhere, while her descendants feature the GI Wood Memorial third Awesome Act (Awesome Again) and the sires Admiralofthefleet and Way of Light. Beta Leo also has a colt foal by Karakontie (Jpn).


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