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Last Updated: 05/05/14 12:27am
Miss France edges out Lightning Thunder and Ihtimal in a thrilling QIPCO 1000 Guineas
Miss France (7/1) ran out a brave winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday.
The first fillies' Classic was one of the few big European prizes to elude master trainer Andre Fabre but the daughter of Dansili ensured it was added to his CV with a neck verdict over Lightning Thunder (14/1).
In a pulsating finish Maxime Guyon's partner first fended off the challenge of eventual third Ihtimal (7/1) inside the final furlong and then had to withstand the late thrust of the runner-up who raced closer to the stands' rails.
Miss France and Lightning Thunder had filled the same placings in last season's Oh So Sharp Stakes at the same track.
In a race run at a steady early gallop, few of those held-up were ever able to land a telling blow.
Richard Hannon's Manderley defied her huge odds, and having set the pace the 100-1 chance was still in front with a furlong to run before finishing fourth
Euro Charline turned the tables on her Nell Gwyn conqueror Sandiva and ran a big race just out of the frame
There was huge market confidence behind Aidan O'Brien's Tapestry who was sent off favourite but was virtually pulled up, while Lucky Kristale was far too keen for her own good.
Clive Brittain's Rizeena was not totally disgraced, coming home just behind the leaders.
Fabre said: "This means a lot, I trained the dam of the filly and I could not be more delighted. It was not the way I wanted her ridden, but it worked. She will get further, that is not a problem. She'll go for the Prix de Diane next, her dam won over a mile and a half.
"I got confident in the last 10 days after her bad (seasonal) debut. She worked brilliantly, after that I told the owner we'd go to Newmarket. There was a question mark after her first run this year but I knew that race wasn't to be believed.
"I was a bit perturbed when she hit the front so early as she idles. I think the best filly I've ever trained was Golden Lilac, she was an an explosive filly, this filly is now more relaxed. t wasn't bothering me that I hadn't won this race, otherwise I'd have tried many times before."
Guyon added: "The plan was to be at the back but she jumped really good, she relaxed really well and showed a good turn of foot. She felt like a different filly from the Imprudence but there was no pace in that race. She's a very, very good filly, and maybe is the best at the moment."
A proud Olly Stevens said of the runner-up: "We're thrilled, this is childhood dream stuff, to be here with a horse of this quality. She's in the Irish Guineas, but she'd have to really bounce out of this to go on the ferry. She goes well fresh so it's more than likely that we'll save her for the Coronation Stakes at Ascot."
Ihtimal shaped well on her return to British racing and was cut to 16-1 from 40s by Sky Bet for the Investec Oaks.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: "She ran a good race. But a mile and a half is the best trip for her. She has come to win her race and was staying on well but the winner is a miler.
"She has worked well she came here ready to run her race and she ran well. I am pleased with her. She will head to the Oaks now. She will go straight there."