Sunday, March 19, 2017, Saint-Cloud racecourse. - 4yo Cloth of the Stars (Sea the Stars) easily won the Prix Exbury (Gr3) for his return. The representative of the Godolphin team accelerated in the last couple of furlongs to finally leave its best rival, the consistent 6yo Star Victory (Tôt Ou Tard), a good length behind. Trained by André Fabre, the winner also won the Prix Greffulhe (Gr2) last season on this very course before failing to make the frame in the Epsom Derby and taking third place in the Juddmonte Grand Prix of Paris (Gr1).
Cloth of Stars set a new record for the race with a time of 2'7''50 on 2,000 metres.
The next important stage for the top aged horses in France is scheduled for April 9th in Chantilly, with the Prix d'Harcourt (Gr2), before the first Group 1, the Prix Ganay, on May 1st at Saint-Cloud .
The first steps en route to the French classics also took place on Sunday at Saint-Cloud with the Prix Omnium II (L) for colts and the Prix La Camargo (L) for fillies. Both races were won by Irish sire Dark Angel (Acclamation)'s offspring. In the fillies race, while Aga Khan's unbeaten Kestila (Siyouni) was declared a non-runner behind the starting stalls, British raider Melesina (Dark Angel) easily held off Heuristique (Shamardal) and Godolphin's Grecian Light (Shamardal), who followed the winner all the way. In the male version, favorite Markazi (Dark Angel) seemed in control of his six opponents all the way and took over the leading Yuman (Literato) to score by 2 1/2 lengths. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, the winner had just finished 2nd in the Prix de la Californie (L) at Cagnes-sur-mer.
Henri-Alex Pantall had placed his two representatives in the first two places in the 3yo maiden Prix Cadet Roussel won by Phelps Win (Muhtathir) ahead of Rayon Vert (Harbor Watch). Both were making their comeback. Phelps Win belongs to his breeder, Mrs. Nadine Chiari, a Corsican owner who bred him in Normandy.
In the Prix Calandria, also over a mile, the very well-bred Lady Frankel (Frankel), a sister to Lope de Vega (Shamardal) also trained by André Fabre for the Dietrich Von Boettischer's Gestüt Ammerland, won decisively for her first time out.