Wednesday, May 19, 2010


LEE MOTTERSHEAD reports for the Racing Post on Monday May 17th 2010. Following a dramatic Sunday at Longchamp in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.

Déjà vu !

"SPECIAL DUTY lands one in a million double as she grabs a second Classic in the stewards room, while the Richard Hannon – trained 2,000 Guineas runner- up DICK TURPIN has to settle for silver again.

Stewards give filly another Guineas.

Winner is truly a one in a million

“SPECIAL DUTY is a one- in- a - million filly, mostly because those are the approximate odds of a horse getting two races in the stewards’ room. The instances of a horse losing a race after a stewards’ inquiry, excluding those who have been disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance, are around one per one thousand races, based on British and Irish Flat racing since 2003.

“Admittedly, one of SPECIAL DUTY’S wins has been in France, where the interference rules are radically different, but the chances are two 1,000-1 shots being successful are 1,000,000-1.

“Surprisingly, SPECIAL DUTY is not the only horse to have been promoted to first in two Group 1 races.

“The Andre Fabre – trained VAHORIMIX was awarded the 2001 Poule d’Essai des Poulains after the original winner, Godolphin’s NOVERRE, was thrown out after giving a positive test.

“Later that year Jean-Luc Lagardere’s colt was awarded the Prix Jacques le Marois after the first part the post PROUDWINGS was disqualified and placed last for causing interference.”

“SPECIAL DUTY’S the equine equivalent if Nick Clegg.

"Lee Mottershead learns a few French words and also that stewards in France can be a little indecisive at times.

“Mon dieu! There’s so much to say about this French Guineas day at Longchamp. I was going to begin by telling you that I have learned the French for baked potato but, given what has happened on the track, I’d better begin with the racing stuff.

“First things first , We’ve been stood in the Longchamp winners enclosure for what seems like an eternity and we still don’t know who has won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches. We know who was first part the post , but in France that’s not always of great importance.

"A Monsieur William Trichter, who greatly annoyed Lady Lloyd-Webber when deciding to disqualify DAR RE MI following the Prix Vermeille in September, is part of the panel deliberating on the relative rights of LILISIDE and SPECIAL DUTY. It’s
patently obvious that he is ever so indecisive. The race was run at 2:35 pm local time and, more than an hour later , we still don’t know who wins the Classic. I’ve got a funny feeling they might give it to JACQUELINE QUEST.

"They don’t. Instead, LILISIDE ‘S owner Anthony Forde, seen shedding tears long before the announcement is made, is left disappointed , boosted only briefly by the fact that one of his 55 Spanish-based horses has just won the sixth race somewhere in Spain.

"Victory in the Pouliches goes to SPECIAL DUTY, who, just two weeks on from winning the 1,000 Guineas having first lost it, is once again beaten but somehow emerges triumphant. This is the equine equivalent of Nick Clegg.

“It’s the weirdest feeling” says Teddy Grimthorpe , racing manager to SPECIAL DUTY’S owner Khalid Abdullah, who looks a tad embarrassed but dignified at the same time. Given that she came well off the pace, its possible to argue that his home bred filly was the best in the race.

“However, quite why William and his friends in the stewards’ room took 75 minutes to decide this is beyond comprehension. Yes it was a complex contest in which more than one piece of interference took place, but to have allowed two races to be staged before the Pouliches result was revealed to the racing public is both unforgivable and unfathomable .

“Even more so than when DAR RE MI was unfairly demoted in favour of STACELITA , French stewarding has been made to look faintly ridiculous.

“It saddens me to say that, because I was planning to begin by reporting lots of nice things about Poules day in Paris . For a start, it costs nothing to enter. On this Sunday, as on every Sunday during a three- month period at Auteuil and Longchamp, admission is free of charge thanks to a promotion called ‘Les Dimanches Au Galop’.

“In a bid to attract a new audience to the sport, one half of the racecourse is devoted to children with a host of stalls, stands and racing-themed activities for the kiddywinks to enjoy. This is France’s Racing Pour Change and, judged by the number of families on show , it works.

“I’ve also come to the conclusion that those enjoying themselves at the families end of this racecourse are getting the best of the culinary battle. In the posh bit, known locally as the ‘Enceinte Privee ‘ there is the strong smell of battered fish by the expensive restaurant.

“Not so in the vicinity of the mums and dads, where Mister Patate sells jacket spuds with various fillings for upwards of 4 euro’s each. Having visited his van, I now know that a baked potato in French is a pomme de terre au four. Moreover, I can also tell you that the barbe a papa is French for candy floss and glace italienne is French for Mr Whippy ice cream.

“I didn’t have any of the above, but I nearly succumbed to something smothered in Nutella from Rosa, the waffles and crepes vendor, who explained that temperature dictates their relative popularity. ‘If it’s cold, it’s waffles, if it’s warm, it’s crepes,’ she says, before revealing that, when it comes to toppings, ‘the French choose Nutella, but the English prefer sugar.’

"I don’t suppose Andre Fabre eats much Nutella, but he does win the Poule d’Essai des Poulains with LOPE DE VEGA, in which the Richard Hannon–trained
DICK TURPIN runs a gallant race to finish second. Sadly, Fabre’s thoughts on the success must for now remain a mystery, as the great man sets off for home as soon as his winner passes the post. He doesn’t even hang around long enough to collect his trophy. In the circumstances, they should maybe give it to LILISIDE’S owner instead.


Lee goes on ....

"Stewards give filly another Guineas.

“She is not the finest filly ever to race, but she is undoubtedly the luckiest. Two weeks on from winning the 1,000 Guineas in the stewards’ room, at Newmarket. SPECIAL DUTY completed the most unlikely and bizarre of Classic doubles when awarded another controversial victory in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.

"With the dust barely settled on the Newmarket demotion of JACQUELINE QUEST, the Francois Rohaut – trained LILISIDE became the second filly this season to have Guineas glory snatched from her grasp with Khalid Abdullah’s SPECIAL DUTY once again the beneficiary.

“It’s amazing, that’s the word ,” said SPECIAL DUTY’S trainer Criquette Head-Maarek as she reflected on a result that was only announced a tense and inexplicably long 75 minutes after LILISIDE had edged out last year’s champion juvenile filly by a nose.

“And, in a further twist to an already complex plot, the disqualification came
“four years after the Rohaut-trained TIE BLACK was promoted to first place in the Pouliches following the racecourse officials’ decision to throw out Abdullah’s first past the post PRICE TAG.

“In a bid to secure daylight LILISIDE’S rider JEAN-BERNARD EYQUEM- who also partnered TIE BLACK – went left two furlongs out, bumping FULL STEAM and causing a domino effect that blunted the momentum of ROSANARA and BAROUDA.

“SPECIAL DUTY partnered by STEPHANE PASQUIER, largely unaffected by that incident, then began a charge up the centre of the track that narrowly failed to get her past LILISIDE partnered by JEAN-BERNARD EYQUEM, who, around 50 yards from the finish, had combined with stablemate BAINE partnered by FRANCOIS-XAVIER BERTRAS to squeeze up British raider LADY OF THE DESERT partnered by KIEREN FALLON.

“Following lengthy deliberations, LILISIDE ridden by JEAN-BERNARD EYQUEM was demoted to sixth, one place behind the KIEREN FALLON ridden LADY OF THE DESERT, with BAINE ridden by FRANCOIS-XAVIER BERTRAS upgraded from third to second.

“LILISIDE partner JEAN-BERNARD EYQUEM received a six-day ban for careless riding and an additional four days for his use of the whip.

“The record books will show that JOANNA partnered by CHRISTOPHE SOUMILLON, and, ROSANARA partnered by CHRISTOPHE –PATRICE LEMAIRE officially finished third and fourth respectively. In an exceptionally close finish, the six principles’ were separated by a head, a neck, two more heads and a neck.

“To win two classics with the same filly in this way is incredible,’ said Head. ‘They made the right decision because LILISIDE stopped ROSANARA from being closer, but I don’t like things like this happening in big races. It’s always a shame and it gives you bad feeling. Someone up there must be looking down on me.”

“The same someone presumably did not see Rohaut, who said: ‘I don’t understand. I am really surprised, not that my filly was disqualified, but that she was placed sixth. Why was she placed behind Fallon’s filly? We did nothing to her.”

“Jaber Abdullah, owner of LADY OF THE DESERT, did not agree. ‘If everything had gone right she would have won.’ Said Abdullah. Second in the last three Arc’s with YOUMZAIN. ‘We know she is good, but accidents are accidents. ’They can even stop a Ferrari. It is nothing new to us. It always happens to YOUMZAIN.’

"Trainer Brien Meehan pointed LADY OF THE DESERT towards the Coronation Stakes, but both SPECIAL DUTY and LILISIDE are set to miss Royal Ascot and to be rested until Deauville’s summer festival, with the Prix Rothschild a probable target for both.

“She was beaten in a claimer last year, but she has made stupendous improvement since then.” Said Rohaut of LILISIDE, while Head – who felt she should have run a pacemaker – heaped praise on her heroine who follows the trainer’s RAVINELLA (1988) and MIESQUE (1987), and the Jacques Lieux-trained IMPRUDENCE (1947) in having won both the British and French Guineas.

“She has a heart bigger than herself ,” she said. “She ran a hell of a race and I think now deserves a vacation. Royal Ascot is a little close so maybe she will run next at Deauville.”

“Looking forward to riding her there will be jockey STEPHANE PASQUIER, who, sporting a somewhat bemused expression , said: “What happened at Newmarket was totally understandable because my filly was definitely the best in the race. To-day I’ve been given the trophy for finishing second, it turns out, can be remarkably rewarding.



1. hd SPECIAL DUTY .... ............ 6/4
2. nk BAINE ...................... 27-1
3. hd JOANNA ....................... 3-1cf
4. hd ROSENARA .......... .......... 9/2 Knocked about as LILISIDE edged left.
5. nk LADY OF THE DESERT 10/1 Stopped twice whilst attempting to
6. 1d LILISIDE .....................16/1 7th on rail, pulled wide for non
existent gap 2f out, ran on under pressure final furlong to lead final
50yds, finished 1st, disqualified and placed 6th .

TURFCALL: LADY OF THE DESERT partnered by KIEREN FALLON (B J Meehan) raced in midfield, 5th 2 and a half furlongs out, pulled out but gap closed(Stopped) found
room to run on 1f out until no room and snatched up final 50 yds, (Stopped) Finished 6th placed 5th the sole British challenger, and running over 1m for the first time. She was quite free early on, so it was encouraging that she finished her race well and her connections reckoned she might even have won had she not been impeded (Stopped) so badly a couple of times, the cumulative effect of which was significant. As she clearly gets 1m, LADY OF THE DESERT’S connections can now look forward to next month’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.




Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home