Earthlight pips Raffle Prize to win G1 Darley Prix Morny - GulfToday

Earthlight pips Raffle Prize to win G1 Darley Prix Morny


Mickael Barzalona rides Andre Fabre-trained Earthlight towards the finish line during G1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville in France on Sunday.

Earthlight confirmed his status as one of Europe’s top two-year-olds as he maintained his unbeaten record with a brave success in the six-furlong G1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville in France on Sunday.

The Andre Fabre-trained Shamardal colt, encountering heavy going for the first time following three wins on quicker ground, was covered up behind the leaders in an eight-strong field that included four G2 winners.

Earthlight quickened strongly after being switched out to deliver his challenge by Mickael Barzalona with two furlongs to race and headed long-time leader Raffle Prize entering the final furlong.

Raffle Prize, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, rallied and the two opened up daylight over the rest of the runners in the closing stages, with Earthlight drifting right before getting the measure of his rival near the line for a neck victory in 1m 12.00s.

Andre Fabre said: “For me, this was one of the best two-year-old races in Europe. I was delighted with Earthlight beforehand but was not over-confident because it is a tough race to win.

“Shamardal is a super sire and this horse will get further. He will be a Guineas horse for sure and the question will be whether he runs again this year or has a break.

“If he recovers from this race, then we might go for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (G1, 7f, Newmarket on Oct. 12 and I would favour the 2,000 Guineas (G1, 1m) at Newmarket for him next year. He is obviously a top-class horse.”

Mickael Barzalona said: “It was an impressive performance from Earthlight. The ground was a big question mark but he is a very tough horse and did it very well.”

Elsewhere, Journeyman was demoted to the second by the stewards for causing the  interference in the 10-furlong G3 Canadian Derby on dirt at Century Mile in the Canada on Sunday.

The three-year-old son of Animal Kingdom, making his Pattern debut for trainer Eoin Harty, was slightly impeded leaving the stalls but soon recovered to race in third on the outside of the field after the first quarter-mile.

He moved up to hit the front under Dane Nelson with three furlongs left and was challenged for the lead by Explode at the top of the straight.

Journeyman held on gamely to pass the post a neck in front, but drifted out into Explode throughout the final furlong and a half, making contact several times as the duo pulled clear of the field. Following an objection by Explode’s jockey, the stewards reversed the first two placings.

Meanwhile, Emirati riders dominated the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival UK Endurance Masters, which took place in Euston Park, London, with 650 female and male knights from the UAE, and various world countries participating.

Knight Salem Hamad Al Ketbi won the main 120 km race of the third day, finishing in 04:38:30 hrs.

Abdullah Ali Al Ameri won the 120 km title for juniors, in 04:47:51, followed by Rashid Hameed Al Kindi, who finished in 04:47:51, and then came Shaheen Yahia Al Mazrouei in the third place, finishing in 04:48:47.

The three-day competition, one of the toughest events in the English equine sporting calendar, featured five international races.

Director General of the Dubai Equestrian Club, Mohammed Issa Al Adab, underlined the importance of this edition of the race, which, he said, aimed to promote the quintessential Emirati values of love and peace across the world.


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