Kerrin McEvoy, the young Australian who has made such a good impression since joining Godolphin this year as number two to Frankie Dettori, made the most of a chance ride yesterday to claim his first top-level victory in the northern hemisphere as he took the Grosser-Preis von Baden on the doughty old warrior Warrsan.
It was only on Thursday that McEvoy, 23, was booked for Warrsan as a deputy for the six-year-old's regular partner, Darryll Holland, on duty in France. And he grabbed the opportunity, bringing the Clive Brittain-trained horse, a 7-1 shot, wide of the pack on the left-handed sweep into the straight and driving him home to beat the locally-trained pair, the 40-1 outsider Egerton and German Derby winner Shirocco, at 5-1, by less than a length.
Warrsan, who was claiming his eighth victory in 32 starts, and his third Group One after two Coronation Cups, impeded Shirocco very slightly as he drifted left in the final strides but, after an enquiry, the stewards rightly let the result stand.
The mile-and-a-half contest, though Germany's most prestigious all-aged race in its own right, is a recognised Arc trial and though the consistently underrated Warrsan advertised his prospects, the other two British challengers Mubtaker and Gamut did not. Mubtaker, who started even-money favourite, was keen early and Richard Hills was forced to let him stride to the lead, shadowed by the Kieren Fallon-ridden Gamut. Both horses folded tamely on the three-furlong run for home.
Holland's trip to Longchamp to ride Lucky Story in the Prix du Moulin was in vain, for the three-year-old could finish only seventh after leading into the straight. The mile race went to Grey Lilas, who continued the fine record of fillies and mares this season in élite inter-sex contests, following the example of Russian Rhythm, Soviet Song, Frizzante, Chic, and Saturday's narrow Haydock Sprint Cup heroine Tante Rose.
In repelling her compatriot Diamond Green and the Irish raider Antonius Pius by a length and a neck, the André Fabre-trained three-year-old provided a double on the day for her jockey, Eric Legrix, whose wife gave birth to a son in the morning.
The other British challenger, Le Vie Dei Colori, never showed, but his rider, Frankie Dettori, did win the Group 3 Prix du Petit Couvert on Peter Makin's charge Pivotal Point.
The day's other Group One event, the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, remained at home when the Con Collins-trained Chelsea Rose, ridden by Pat Shanahan, beat fast-finishing Pictavia and Saoire, with Umniya the best of the British in fourth. The 11-8 favourite, Silk And Scarlet from Ballydoyle, came in seventh.
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- Derby (horse Race)
- Frankie Dettori
- Kieren Fallon