Darley sires clinch fourth European classic

Darley sires came close to claiming a classic double at Longchamp on Sunday when Lope de Vega (Shamardal) won the Poule D’Essai Des Poulains while Baine (Country Reel) was first past the post in the Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches only to lose on protest.

Lope de Vega (3c Shamardal – Lady Vettori by Vettori) romped to victory in the G1 French 2000 Guineas emulating his sire who won the same contest five years ago.  The Andre Fabre-trained colt won twice as a juvenile before returning this year with a close-up third in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleu in April.

Owned and bred by Gestut Ammerland, Lope de Vega gave Darley stallions their fourth European classic win of the year.  He settled off the pace and, when asked to quicken, took the lead inside the final furlong to defeat Dick Turpin.  The runner-up filled the same spot behind Makfi (Dubawi) in the English 2000 Guineas earlier this month.  Dubawi is also sire the sire of Worthadd who completed the Italian 2000 Guineas – Derby double a week ago.

Lope de Vega is out of the G3 winner Lady Vettori and is a half-brother to another Group winner in Bal De La Rose (Cadeaux Genereux).  The mare has been covered by Shamardal again this year.

The French 2000 Guineas capped a winning week for Shamardal.  In Europe, his Irish-bred daughter Elle Shadow landed a Listed trial for the German Oaks at Mulheim while British-bred Acquainted ran second in the Cheshire Oaks and could now head to Royal Ascot for the G2 Ribblesdale Stakes.

Shamardal sired his latest Australian bred stakes winner at the Gold Coast on Saturday when Femina Fashion notched her third win in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet.

The news wasn’t as good for the Francois Rohaut trained filly Baine in the French 1000 Guineas.  The Country Reel filly had won the Prix Finlande at Longchamp in April and appeared to emulate Rohaut’s former star Torrestrella who completed the same double in 2004.

In the wake of a roughly run edition of the French 1000 Guineas, Baine was demoted in favour of Special Duty (Hennessy) who had also won the English 1000 Guineas in stewards’ room.