Photo: Harris Equine Photogaphy
Miss France completed Andre Fabre's collection of English Classics as she repelled the late charge of Lightning Thunder to ensure victory in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas. Partnered by Maxime Guyon, Miss France was always close up towards the pace of a slowly run affair, and kicked on for home coming out of the dip as Guyon looked to snatch a break on the field, but like her GIII Oh So Sharp Stakes win, Miss France would have to deny the late charge of Olly Stevens' Lightning Thunder in the closing stages. Miss France had disappointed in a slowly run Prix Imprudence at Maisons-Laffitte on her seasonal reappearance, but unlike the previous roll call of French-based fillies whom had entered that contest harbouring hopes of English Classic success, Miss France was able to turn around her disappointing performance to return to Newmarket full of enthusiasm and a will to win to ensure she powered back to victory on the Rowley Mile this Sunday. Andre Fabre had won the GIII Dahlia Stakes earlier on the card with last season's Poule d'essai des Pouliches second placed finisher Esoterique, and the legendary French trainer seldom sends a horse to England without having serious hopes of victory.
Last seen winning The Derby at Epsom with Pour Moi in 2011, victory by Miss France in this year's 1,000 Guineas ensured he had now won every English Classic, having won his first Classics in the country in 1993 as Zafonic and Intrepidity surged to victory in the 2,000 Guineas and The Oaks respectively.
It'd be fair to say that Miss France's victory had the hallmarks of Zafonic's preparation towards his English Classic success, with Fabre opting to test his charge on the track as a two year old and develop and prepare the horse throughout the winter for the test whilst being fully in the knowledge that he/she could handle the track.
"I was a bit worried to see her so close to the pace, but it worked," said Fabre. "She worked brilliantly [in the last ten days], after that I told the owner we'd go to Newmarket. There was a question mark after her first run this year, but I knew that race wasn't to be believed."
Miss France is entered for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, a race which Fabre has stated will come under serious consideration before an almost certain bid for victory in the Prix de Diane back on home soil.
On the undercard, John Gosden's Taghrooda
announced herself on the Classic stage with a scintillating performance in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes.
A six length winner of that race, Taghrooda is now as short as 3/1 for the Oaks at Epsom, and will bid to give Paul Hanagan his first Group I success since accepting the retainer to ride in the Sheikh Hamdan's colours.