A number of the better late-maturing juveniles are beginning to come to the fore now on both sides of the English Channel and over in France the Freddie Head-trained Zantenda threw down the gauntlet to her potential rivals in next month's Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Arc day with an impressive victory at the Paris track, writes Elliot Slater.
The race won last year by Aidan O'Brien's subsequent Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Misty For Me, has been confirmed as the definite target for Head's Wertheimer-owned filly who hadn't seen a racecourse until making her debut at Deauville on August 23 where she scored by a short neck from Urjooha, under a considerate ride from Olivier Peslier. Anyone betting on horse racing would have been impressed.
On the back of her debut victory the daughter of Zamindar was sent off a 7/5f for the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale at Longchamp on September 8 and didn't let favourite backers down, coming from the rear of the field with a well timed run to hit the front 100 yards from home, then stayed-on well having been slightly hampered to score with more in hand than the official winning margin of a neck might suggest in beating another well regarded sort in the Stephane Pasquier-ridden Rajastani. Those looking for horse racing tips may want to keep an eye on Zantenda.
Although he suggested that she had run green and still has a lot to learn, Head was quick to nominate the big race back at Longchamp on October 2, an indication of the regard in which he holds the unbeaten juvenile filly. Third place went to the Sir Mark Prescott-trained filly Kinetica, who attempted to make all the running but was caught inside the final furlong before keeping on bravely to finish just two lengths behind the winner. John Gosden's Iceni Girl was further two-and-a-half lengths back in fourth.