For the sixth year in a row, the Darley Prix Robert Papin (Gr2) has left France for the UK, this time with A’Ali (Society Rock), trained by Simon Crisford and ridden by Lanfranco Dettori from Bahrain’s Sheikh Duaij Al Khalifa.
Winner of the Norfolk Stakes (Gr3) last time out at Royal Ascot, the odds-on favourite A’Ali did not start very well and was kept at the rear of the 10-strong field as the French filly My Love’s Passion (Elvstroem), given a positive ride by Theo Bachelot, went ahead to lead at good speed. One furlong out, she was still leading but A’Ali had made up much of the ground needed to take over and went ahead to win comfortably by 3/4 of a length. He passed the post only half a second short of the race record.
The main challenger on paper, the consistent filly Jolie (Power), once again finished well in third, nearly two lengths further.
A’Ali was running for the third time only and his trainer named the Darley Prix Morny (Gr1), on August 18 at Deauville, as the colt’s next target.
The race is the first stage of the Darley Series, meaning the winning breeder from Ireland Tally Ho Stud will receive a € 20,000 voucher on a Darley sire stud fee in 2020 if A’Ali wins again in the “Morny”.
The colt was sold as a yearling by his breeder for £ 35,000, and then £ 135,000 last April at the Goffs breeze up sale in England.