French connection flying for Darley

Darley’s French connection produced its fourth classic candidate in as many days when Baine won the Listed Prix Finlande (1800m) at Longchamp on Sunday.

Baine (3f Country Reel–Benzolina by Second Empire) burst through a gap at the furlong to score a determined victory over American Nizzy (American Post) and 2009 G1 Prix Marcel Boussac placegetter On Verra (Smart Strike).

Trainer Francois Rohaut said Baine would head towards the G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) at Longchamp on May 16 along with stablemate Liliside (American Post).

Baine won on debut at Toulouse in September and doubled up at Mont-de-Marsan in October.  She returned from a winter spell to score first-up at Lyon in March before earning her first black-type in Paris on Sunday.

Baine is by Darley sire Country Reel (Danzig) who shuttled to Darley’s Victorian arm from Haras du Logis for two seasons until E.I. forced him back to France in 2007.

Darley shuttler Dubawi staked his claim for the French 2000 Guineas when his colt Makfi won the G3 Prix Djebel (1400m) at Maisons-Laffitte last Thursday.

Sheikh Hamdan’s filly Joanna was also in the frame at Maisons-Laffitte when she scored a G3 victory in the G3 Prix Imprudence.  The High Chaparral filly is also being set for the French 1000 Guineas by trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.

Sheikh Mohammed’s regally bred colt Memory Cloth won a mile maiden at Saint-Cloud on Friday in readiness for the French 2000 Guineas.  The Cape Cross colt is a Darley homebred trained by Andre Fabre and is by the same sire as champion colt Sea The Stars while his dam is Irish 1000 Guineas winner Gossamer.