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Mqse de Sevigne to have final say for Fabre in Prix d'Ispahan

3 minute read

Mqse de Sevigne is primed to extend master French trainer Andre Fabre's record winning run in the G1 Prix d'Ispahan (1850m) at ParisLongchamp on Sunday (26 May).

Andre Fabre
Andre Fabre Picture: Racing and Sports

The five-year-old mare is well prepared for this contest and she will have to be given the presence of Blue Rose Cen, the 2023 French 1000 Guineas and Oaks heroine, and last month's surprise G1 Prix Ganay (2100m) scorer, Haya Zark.

Mqse (short for Marquise) de Sevigne is named after a well-known French 17th century aristocrat and noted letter writer.

Her 21st century equine version has enjoyed penning the last word on the track, claiming a Deauville Group 1 double in the Prix Rothschild (1600m) and Prix Jean Romanet (2000m) last season.

She appears to have wintered well, warming up for this test with a Listed success in the Prix Jacques Laffitte (1850m) at ParisLongchamp last month.

Her owner, Baron Edouard de Rothschild, was upbeat after that eye-catching seasonal bow, and had no hesitation in naming Sunday's feature for four-year-olds and upwards as her early season target.

"Mqse De Sevigne  seems as capable as ever. We never had any doubts about keeping her in training this year," said de Rothschild. "She hails from a late maturing family whose progeny improve over time. I don't think we've heard the last of her."

As Fabre closes in on what would be a 10th Prix d'Ispahan, another less heralded Chantilly trainer is plotting his first with Blue Rose Cen.

Italian-born Maurizio Guarnieri enjoyed an unexpected late Christmas present when he received Blue Rose Cen and champion miler Big Rock - among a batch of horses moved to his yard - by owners Yeguada Centurion from Christopher Head.

Some responsibility then for Guarnieri, who will be praying Blue Rose Cen will fare better than Big Rock who disappointed last weekend in the G1 Lockinge Stakes (1600m) at Newbury.

"I'm happy with the filly. She fine-tuned her preparation on Tuesday and all the lights are green," said Guarnieri.

"You must remember this is her first race for eight months but she is ready to make her comeback. I don't think the going will play much of a part for Blue Rose Cen," he added with the race forecast to be run on soft ground.

Haya Zark  sprang a 18/1 surprise in the G1 Prix Ganay (2100m) a month ago and is seeking to complete a rare Ganay/Ispahan double.

Trained in the west of France by Adrien Fouassier, the five-year-old will be partnered on Sunday by Christophe Soumillon, with his Ganay-winning rider Alexis Pouchin claimed for Mqse de Sevigne.

Horizon Dore , beaten three-quarters of a length back in fifth, reopposes.

"He ran really well in the Prix Ganay, putting in the best time over the closing 600m. He should run even better on Sunday," said the four-year-old owner's manager Pauline Chehboub.

English visitor Checkandchallenge enjoys his visits to France and will strip fitter after a comeback fifth in the G3 Gordon Richards Stakes (1990m) at Sandown, and appreciates the soft, while Archie Watson's Brave Emperor was out of luck in the G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin last time out.

Mickael Barzalona is on board last year's French 2000 Guineas winner Marhaba Ya Sanafi, runner-up this month in the G2 Prix du Muguet (1600m), with globetrotting German trainer Andreas Schutz saying the owner is keen for a crack at this more elevated company.

Racing and Sports

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