Alhaarth warms British party

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The Independent Online
British racegoers had plenty to shout about despite the French home win in the Arc. And there was no bigger cheer than that which greeted Alhaarth following his victory in the Group Two Prix du Rond-Point.

After a disappointing campaign in the Classics, the Dick Hern-trained colt came good with an all-the-way win over Shaanxi. Hern was delighted that the juvenile champion had at last justified the faith shown in him. "The victory has given me great pleasure because I know what a good horse he is," Hern said. "He has had a series of bad luck in running and at last we have got his distance right."

Alhaarth stays in training next year and may return to Longchamp later this month for the Prix de la Foret.

John Reid bounced back from his Arc fall with a late winning run on the Chris Wall-trained Donna Viola in the Group Two Prix de l'Opera. "I thought of finishing for the day," Reid said. "But I was laid in the ambulance and thought: 'I'm only bruised. Let's get on with it'."

British success began with John Gosden's Ryafan in the Prix Marcel Boussac. The Frankie Dettori-ridden filly provided a one-two for their owner, Khalid Abdullah, by getting the better of Pat Eddery's mount, Yashmak, trained by Henry Cecil.

"That was a great finish from two great jockeys," Gosden said. "They killed off the rest of the field. I've not had a runner in the race before but this is not the kind of place you go with a pea-shooter."

Coral offer 14-1 Ryafan and 16-1 Yashmak for next year's 1,000 Guineas.

Kistena broke an 18-year losing streak for the French in the Prix de l'Abbaye, beating stablemate and hot favourite Anabaa. Last year's winner, the Joe Naughton-trained Hever Golf Rose, was third.

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