Two Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend prep races were on the card on Sunday at ParisLongchamp.
Run over 5 furlongs, the Qatar Prix du Petit Couvert (Gr3) leads to the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (Gr1). Oddly enough, the last winners of the French top sprint who took that road didn’t win in the “Petit-Couvert”: Marsha finished 2nd in 2016, Goldream 3rd in 2015 and Move in Time 2nd in 2014.
Two 3-year-old fillies trained in Britain prevailed this time. The winner is Glass Slippers (Dream Ahead), who came from the rear to beat Shades of Blue (Kodiac) by half a length. 6yo gelding Gold Vibe (Dream Ahead), trained in Chantilly by Pascal Bary, finished 3rd another one and half length down the road.
Three other three-year-old fillies won the Prix du Petit Couvert in the last 15 years: Nipping, Dibajj and Tantheem in 2005, 2013 and 2018. They were all trained in France though.
As for Glass Slippers, she won twice at 2 before going for a Group 3 at Ayr over 6 furlongs. Only 6th that day, she called it a day for the season and came back over 7 furlongs in the Fred Darling Stakes (Gr3). She was unplaced that day but went on to take the fifth place in a 6 furlongs-Listed event, and was just denied her first win of the season in another Listed race over 5 furlongs, only beaten a neck. A Group 3 third at York after that, she came to Deauville and won the Prix Moonlight Cloud (L), and now this sprint.
Trained by Kevin Ryan in North Yorkshire du Nord, Glass Slippers was bred in Shropshire by her owner Bearstone Stud (Terry Holdcroft). Her dam’s sister Eastern Romance (Oasis Dream) won the Critérium de Vitesse (L) at 2 for the same connections.
Over the Qatar Prix du Pin (Gr3)’s 7 furlongs, a horse trained in Deauville by Stéphane Wattel for French owner Jean-Louis Bouchard won the race. City Light (Siyouni) hadn’t raced over such a long trip since March last year. Since he’d finished 2nd ion the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Gr1) at Royal Ascot in June 2018, it seemed sensible to assume sprints were his forte from now on, but he was struggling to succeed lately and his connections decided to give him another shot at the flying game. He won over 6.5 furlongs on Deauville’s AWT and confirmed spectacularly here over 7 furlongs.
Picked by his trainer at the Arqana Deauville sales as a yearling, he was paid € 55,000 then. On Sunday, he beat decisively the consistent and good Graignes (Zoffany) by one and half length, which is a pretty good benchmark …