Iffraaj filly claims Group 3 at Deauville

Darley shuttler Iffraaj enhanced his growing reputation when Espirita won the G3 Prix des Reservoirs at Deauville on Tuesday.

Espirita (2f Iffraaj – Belle Esprit by Warning) scored by three lengths from Footsteppy (Footstepsinthesand) and Nova Step (Dubawi) prompting trainer Elle Lellouche to map out plans for a French 1000 Guineas campaign in 2011.

“I had to abandon plans to aim her at the Marcel Boussac because she had a minor setback,” Lellouche said.  “She acts on all grounds and the likely programme is to look at races like the Prix de la Grotte and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.”

Espirita was beaten a head on debut by Living Art (Trippi) at Chantilly in July and then opened her account at Deauville in August.  She was purchased for 37,000 euros by Horizon Bloodstock at the 2009 Arqana August yearling sale in Deauville.  Her dam Belle Esprit is a sister to German G2 winner Torch Rouge.

Iffraaj is the runaway European first-season leader by individual winners with 33 and he is closing in on Invincible Spirit’s record of 35 first-season juvenile winners.

His flag-bearer has been unbeaten colt Wootton Bassett who sent his earnings soaring past 524,000 pounds (AUD 843,830) with a G1 victory in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at the Arc de Triomphe meeting.

Iffraaj (Zafonic) is based at Darley’s Kildangan Stud and shuttles to Haunui Farm in New Zealand.  He was a Group 2 winner at Goodwood and York and is from a half-sister to champion Darley sire Cape Cross.