Sahpresa reigned supreme in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes yet again as the resilient French mare became the first to win the Newmarket Group One three times.
Although the distance, conditions and age restrictions have been tinkered with over the years, it was still a substantial achievement by trainer Rod Collet and his stable star.
Sahpresa and Collet were both virtual unknowns when she opened her account in the race at 16-1 in 2009 but she has become a familiar sight from regular trips across the water and went off the 13-8 favourite.
Christophe Lemaire was criticised for leaving it too late when second in the Falmouth Stakes during the summer but he has since steered her to placed efforts in two strong French Group Ones.
Perfectly settled in a prominent position she made it a hat-trick without much fuss, keeping a comfortable length between herself and Chachamaidee.
“Well done to Sahpresa,” Collet said.
“It’s not me – it’s all down to her.
“We learned from the Falmouth, which was a joke race and Christophe changed our strategy a little bit.
“The pressure has increased. Two years ago we were one of the outsiders, last year we were third or fourth favourite, and this year we were the favourite.”
Collet said the victory has extra significance after the recent death of her former owner.
“Her former owner and breeder Douglas McIntyre died a few days ago at the age of 92. He was one of my first owners and this filly was the dream of his life and of my life,” he said.
“We’re going to keep it the same and go for the Mile Championship in Kyoto because the owner is Japanese and she will also have an entry in the Hong Kong Mile.”
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