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Metropolitan holds off UK challenge in Poule d'Essai des Poulains

3 minute read

Metropolitan made it two-from-two for the French in the Classics on Sunday, as he landed the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp.

Racecourse : Longchamp (France)
Racecourse : Longchamp (France) Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Trained by Mario Baratti, the Zarak colt was unbeaten in two starts over a mile as a juvenile but suffered a defeat on his reappearance in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau. It was a completely different story in the French 2000 Guineas, with jockey Alexis Pouchin always keeping Metropolitan prominent. He was asked to challenge with a furlong to go and the colt remained in control to the line, beating the fast-finishing Dancing Gemini by half-a-length.

"I've been at this a long time and have had some good horses, but a day like today is unimaginable," said part-owner Peter Bradley in an interview with Sky Sports Racing.

"You will have to talk to the trainer, but someone mentioned Royal Ascot if he wins – it's possible and we will see how he comes out of this race.

"We knew we had a very good horse and I think he proved he is a champion."

The second-placed Dancing Gemini could return to France for the Prix du Jockey Club in June, but he also holds an entry in the Epsom Derby.

"He ran a blinder and we've always had confidence in him – thank God he's backed us up today," said trainer Roger Teal.

"I thought we were going to get there and he's done everything right, the winner just got a few lengths on us turning in and got a good run up the rail. Dancing Gemini was getting there and he went down on his sword.

"He hasn't had a prep run and will benefit for this race. If he can come forward from this, then you would like to think there is a big day in him.

"We're going to have to have a chat and he's in both the English and French Derby. He's bred to stay, but he's also got a lot of speed, he's got a good kick. We'll let the dust settle, have a chat and see which way we want to head."

Racing and Sports

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