The first French Fast-Track Qualifier for the All-Weather Championships has been held at Deauville in France resulting in a thrilling finish, with the Pia Brandt-trained Fresles, with Alexis Badel up, winning by a nose.
The 52,000 euros Prix Miss Satamixa, run over seven and a half furlongs on Polytrack, gave a guaranteed place to three-year-old Royal Applause filly Fresles in the £150,000 32Red.com Fillies & Mares Championship over seven furlongs on Good Friday, April 3, at Lingfield Park.
Plaisanciere was a length and a quarter back in third. The James Tate-trained Lamar ran the best of the three British challengers when staying on in fourth, another three quarters of a length in arrears, while the Clive Cox-trained Stereo Love finished eighth and Stosure from Gay Kelleway’s yard came home tenth of the maximum field of 16.
Brandt, who trains in Chantilly, is keen to challenge for honours on Good Friday. She said after the race: “Finals Day at Lingfield Park is the goal with Fresles. I thought six furlongs was her trip before today but she has proved she stays further and seven furlongs should be perfect on Good Friday.
“This was going to be the second of three qualifying runs but her victory means she can now go straight to Finals Day.She is improving and now so much better mentally. Even though she won by a nose, she had one ear pricked and has more to give.”
Fresles raced in Britain last month, when the neck second to Intransigent at Lingfield Park in the Listed Unibet Golden Rose Stakes, a Fast-Track Qualifier over six furlongs and has had some experience of the track.
Horses qualify for the seven championship contests on the £1.1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 3, 2015) by winning a specified “Fast Track Qualifier” or running in a minimum of three races at Britain’s five All-Weather tracks, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, owned by ARC, The Jockey Club’s Kempton Park and Chelmsford City, between October 30 and March 30.
Alternatively, one of the three qualifying runs can come at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse (dirt) or on the All-Weather surfaces at Ireland’s Dundalk and the French tracks of Cagnes Sur Mer, Chantilly and Deauville.