Zarak's Metropolitan Wins The Poulains

Metropolitan | Scoop Dyga

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Scheduled 40 minutes after the fillies' Classic, Sunday's G1 Emirates Poule d'Essai des Poulains offered a dramatic contrast with a heavy downpour greatly affecting the aesthetics at ParisLongchamp and to an extent the ground also. In the event, the race was off 40 minutes de retard due to the thunderstorm before Metropolitan (Fr) (Zarak {Fr}–Alianza {GB}, by Halling) provided another surprise result on the afternoon by overcoming higher-profile peers at 24-1.

Unbeaten in two juvenile starts before finishing fifth in the course-and-distance G3 Prix de Fontainebleau last month, the Mario Baratti trainee who races for Peter R Bradley III and Scuderia Scolari was perfectly positioned by Alexis Pouchin in third having been drawn on the rail. Using the cutaway to get up the inside of TDN Rising Star Alcantor (Fr) (New Bay {GB}) with 150 metres remaining, the €78,000 Arqana Deauville October graduate stayed on to deny fellow outsider Dancing Gemini (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) by half a length, with Alcantor a short neck away in third. Ballydoyle's 13-10 favourite Henry Longfellow (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) finished a never-threatening eighth.

Baratti, who had been assistant to Marco Botti before taking up a licence, was enjoying a maiden Classic success in France. “On his seasonal debut, I knew he was short of work so we were ready to accept defeat that day knowing he would improve,” he explained. “He finished well after being too far back and so I was encouraged. Not only has he improved fitness-wise, but also mentally and that showed today.”

“He had a wonderful trip on the inside, that one draw was a gift from heaven and he was ready to deliver when it mattered. I am convinced he will stay further and he is in the [G1 Prix du] Jockey Club, but I am not certain he will run. My mentor Pascal Bary taught me that when a horse is doing well over a trip, change nothing. So we will discuss the future with the owners and decide.”

“I won the German 2000 Guineas last year, but winning a French Classic is a whole different ball game! I work with a very good team of employees who are very passionate about what they do, so the groundwork has been laid down by all concerned.”

Flashing talent from the outset when taking a mile maiden at Deauville's August Festival in style, he counted among the beaten that day the recent G3 Prix Noailles winner Calandagan (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}) before upstaging another Aga Khan talent in TDN Rising Star Elbaz (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) at Chantilly in September. Given the perfect ride on his reintroduction in the Fontainebleau, he was ready to peak here and it could be that the torrential rain that intervened after the Pouliches played to his strengths. The winning time was nearly two seconds slower than the fillies' version and the first four home were colts who promise to stay further on pedigree.

For Peter Bradley, who bought into the winner following his debut, the result was momentous. “I've been at this a long time and have had some good horses, but a day like today is unimaginable,” he said. “You will have to talk to the trainer, but someone mentioned Royal Ascot if he wins–it's possible and we will see how he comes out of this race. We knew we had a very good horse and I think he proved he is a champion.”

Dancing Gemini's trainer Roger Teal has his eye on another Classic following the staying-on effort of the runner-up. “He ran a blinder and we've always had confidence in him,” he said. “I thought we were going to get there and he's done everything right, the winner just got a few lengths on us turning in and got a good run up the rail. He hasn't had a prep run and will benefit for this race. If he can come forward from this, then you would like to think there is a big day in him. We're going to have to have a chat and he's in both the English and French Derby. He's bred to stay, but he's also got a lot of speed, he's got a good kick.”

Edouard de Rothschild said of Alcantor, “I'm delighted with the performance–he has run his race. Everything went wrong in the Craven, he didn't like the straight course there, but he showed his true form today and will improve off that. So the logic is to go now for the Prix du Jockey Club.”

Aidan O'Brien was not dissatisfied with the efforts of Diego Velazquez and Henry Longfellow, with the former running perhaps the best Derby trial of all his 3-year-olds so far this term. “My two horses ran well, but the race lacked pace so we're looking to the future now,” he said. “The soft ground throughout the spring hasn't helped. I think Diego Velazquez will stay at least 12 furlongs.”

Pedigree Notes
Metropolitan is out of the unraced Alianza, a half-sister to the Listed Marygate S. runner-up Boater (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}) and daughter of Cercle D'Amour (Storm Cat). She is in turn a full-sister to the Listed Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial winner Royal Tigress and a half to the G3 Norfolk S. winner and G1 Prix Morny runner-up Warm Heart (Diesis {GB}), as well as Ballydoyle's Listed Doncaster S. scorer Miguel Cervantes (Danzig). Royal Tigress is the dam of the GIII Pin Oak Valley View S. winner and GI Beldame S. runner-up Tiger Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}). Alianza's 2-year-old colt by Elarqam (GB) was a €21,000 purchase by Stephane Cerulis at the Arqana Deauville October Sale.

 

 

Sunday, ParisLongchamp, France
EMIRATES POULE D'ESSAI DES POULAINS-G1, €650,000, ParisLongchamp, 5-12, 3yo, c, 8fT, 1:37.84, sf.
1–METROPOLITAN (FR), 128, c, 3, by Zarak (Fr)
     1st Dam: Alianza (GB), by Halling
     2nd Dam: Cercle D'Amour, by Storm Cat
     3rd Dam: Warm Mood, by Alydar
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN; 1ST GROUP WIN; 1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (€78,000 Ylg '22 ARQOCT). O-Peter R Bradley III & Scuderia Scolari; B-Stuart McPhee (FR); T-Mario Baratti; J-Alexis Pouchin. €371,410. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0, €407,410. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Dancing Gemini (Ire), 128, c, 3, Camelot (GB)–Lady Adelaide (Ire), by Australia (GB). 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. O/B-Fishdance Ltd (IRE); T-Roger Teal. €148,590.
3–Alcantor (Fr), 128, c, 3, New Bay (GB)–Bianca De Medici (GB), by Medicean (GB). (€180,000 Wlg '21 ARQDEC). O-Baron Edouard de Rothschild; B-SCEA du Grand Chene (FR); T-Andre Fabre. €74,295.
Margins: HF, SNK, NK. Odds: 24.30, 26.00, 20.00.
Also Ran: Diego Velazquez (Ire), Ramadan (Fr), Supercooled (Ire), Eben Shaddad, Henry Longfellow (Ire), Puchkine (Fr), Roshvar (Fr), Orne (Ire), Beauvatier (Fr), Keran (Fr). Video, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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