1,000 Guineas: Victories for Miss France and California Chrome take old-timers up to new heights

newmarket

Youth may have had its day in the 2,000 Guineas, as rookie trainer Richard Hannon Jr captured his first Classic on Saturday with Night Of Thunder, his first runner in such a race. But even though experience was the guiding hand for the rest of the weekend, results at the top still produced breakthroughs.

Here today, Miss France gave André Fabre his first victory in the 1,000 Guineas, completing in the process a full house of English Classics for the Chantilly-based maestro. And perhaps most remarkably of all, 77-year-old Art Sherman became the oldest man to saddle a Kentucky Derby winner when California Chrome – his first runner in America's most famous race – ran out a ready winner.

Miss France had become one of the winter favourites for the filly Guineas after she beat Lightning Thunder over seven furlongs of the Rowley Mile last September.

She fell from grace, though, after flopping first time out this season. But Fabre was not fazed and coaxed the daughter of Dansili back to her best. The very fact of her taking part was a hint to punters and only two were preferred in the market to the 7-1 shot.

"There was a question mark after her first run this year," said Fabre, 68, "but I knew that race wasn't to be believed. Then in the last 10 days I began to get confident after that bad run. She started working brilliantly, and it was what I saw in the morning that told me that we should come here."

To Fabre's consternation, Miss France, ridden by Maxime Guyon, was always close to the pace and went past trailblazing Manderley a furlong out. She had to dig deep to fend off two determined challenges, firstly from Ihtimal and lastly her old rival Lightning Thunder, who went under by just a neck in a driving finish. "It was not the way I wanted her ridden," added Fabre, "exactly the opposite, in fact. But it worked."

It was a first Classic in Britain for Guyon, who had to improvise after his mount left the starting stalls too well. "The plan was to be at the back," he admitted, "but she jumped really good, and I let her run. She relaxed really well and felt like a different filly from last month."

Miss France and Lightning Thunder, who did second-season trainer Olly Stevens proud in the colours of the Qatari sponsors, may clash again in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, but Ihtimal will step up to a mile and a half in the Oaks.

Hannon Jr, who took over the license at his family's Wiltshire stables from his father and namesake only a few months ago, reported Night Of Thunder in good shape after Saturday's victory, and more likely to stick at a mile in the St James's Palace Stakes than go for the Derby.

For Sherman, victory at the highest level has come late, and sweet. Back in 1955, he was an exercise rider on Kentucky Derby winner Swaps, the closest connection he had previously with the hallowed Churchill Downs winners' circle.

California Chrome, the favourite, won easily under Victor Espinoza to provide a fairy-tale success all round; he was bred from a cheap mare by his first-time owners, who go under the acronym DAP: Dumb-Ass Partners.

"This gave me the biggest thrill I've ever had," said Sherman. "It was a picture-perfect ride and coming down the stretch I was just thinking: 'Keep rollin' big boy. Keep rollin'. To be my age and have something like this happen, what can you say?"

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little