Lest we forget, Mickaël Barzalona is not the only young jockey flourishing under the tutelage of André Fabre. Yesterday Maxime Guyon showcased his somewhat more pugnacious style as the 22-times champion trainer of France saddled yet another Classic winner, Golden Lilac in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly. Guyon and Fabre would proceed to scoop all three of the other Group races on the card, so corroborating Frankie Dettori's recent assertion that France now has the strongest group of jockeys in all Europe.
The unbeaten Golden Lilac has now matched the Classic double pulled off by Zarkava in 2008, having already won the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches over a mile, and could now try to emulate her success in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe this autumn.
It is remarkable nowadays to reflect that Zarkava beat none other than Goldikova in both the Pouliches and Diane, and the fact is that Golden Lilac would probably not have been able to hold off Galikova, Goldikova's half-sister, had yesterday's race been run at a pace befitting a Classic. As it was, Guyon had made a decisive move before Galikova could reach top gear, and stemmed her late challenge by a length. Regardless, the race extended the astounding Classic run of Galileo, sire of both principals.
Goldikova will raise the curtain on Royal Ascot tomorrow when she meets Canford Cliffs in the Queen Anne Stakes. Barely an hour later Frankel will start hot favourite to honour the Turf's latest and perhaps most cherished knight, Sir Henry Cecil, against eight rivals for the St James's Palace. David Simcock was sufficiently relieved by yesterday's rain to declare Dream Ahead, who was officially ranked last season's joint-top juvenile with Frankel but has since been confined to his stable by the drought.
* Chris McGrath's Nap
Kings 'N Dreams (7.30 Windsor)
Likes to get his toe in and conditions can prompt a better show here.
* Next best
Beauty Pageant (3.45 Carlisle)
A simple question of whether she handles easier ground as she looks miles ahead of her rivals.
* One to watch
Getcarter (Richard Hannon) seemed to lose his way before managing second at Salisbury last week and again ran well on Saturday.
* Where the money's going
Overdose is 12-1 from 16-1 for tomorrow's King's Stand Stakes.Reuse content