Outsider Coeursamba shocks French Guineas rivals
Having swooped to victory in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket a fortnight ago, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Mother Earth was the 6-4 favourite to follow up in the French equivalent, with Christophe Soumillon coming in for the ride.
The Zoffany filly travelled strongly for much of the one-mile contest and briefly looked set to prevail after picking up well inside the final two furlongs.
However, she did not pick up as well as Jean-Claude Rouget’s Coeursamba, who was a 66-1 shot under Cristian Demuro but won with something to spare.
The three-year-old had won just one of her seven previous starts, most recently finishing third in the Prix du Louvre over the course and distance last month.
Rouget said: “The filly was in great shape. We gave her the entire winter off and sent her to the stud. We couldn’t get her back in very early, but that didn’t worry me too much as she ran quite a lot as a two-year-old.
“I picked the Prix du Louvre for her seasonal comeback, with orders to give her a gentle race. Everything went well for her today – a good draw, in good physical condition. She has experience, and that matters in these kinds of races.
“We are very happy. It was somewhat unknown territory coming into the race, as it was a very open competition. Before the race I said to Paul Basquin (racing manager for owner Abdullah bin Fahad Al Attiyah) that we could be first or second, or quickly find ourselves seventh or eighth!
“We are very pleasantly surprised. I was surprised by the acceleration that she showed – twice. She showed double the acceleration of some very good fillies.
I don’t think that she will run in the Prix de Diane as she has limited stamina, but Ascot is a possibility
Coeursamba appears unlikely to bid for further Classic glory in the French Oaks, with Rouget keen to stick to a shorter distance – potentially in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He added: “It’s interesting for the rest of the season to come. I didn’t enter her in the Coronation Stakes, due to the complications caused by Covid. We will see what the next step is after a discussion with her connections.
“I don’t think that she will run in the Prix de Diane as she has limited stamina, but Ascot is a possibility.”
Demuro added: “Today was just a dream. I think it’s Jean-Claude Rouget that makes the difference.
“She stepped up to the distance really well. She accelerated brilliantly and the low draw was a definite advantage. The open stretch helped her too.”