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Qatar Forêt : One Master on her domain

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For a long time, City Light (Siyouni) gave the distinct impression that he was about to end his racing career on a high in the 7-furlongs Qatar Prix de la Forêt (Gr1) before his retirement to stud. However, the stallion prospect had his thunder stolen in the dying throes of the race by One Master (Fastnet Rock). The latter initially bided her time in the second half of the field, as Pierre-Charles Boudot continued his bonanza weekend. The French pilot, also successful in the Qatar Arc de Triomphe, in addition to this edition of the Forêt on the same Sunday card, also completed a ParisLongchamp four-timer on Saturday!

Speak In Colours (Excelebration) was safely held in third.

Having annexed this same race in 2018, One Master joined a very exclusive club as, since the race’s inception in 1858, only four horses have won this race twice.

On a similar note, the distaffer’s success enabled the winning connections, and for this read jockey, trainer and breeder, a further triumph in the race after her 2018 win. A 2020 campaign is now very much on her agenda!

Quotes

William Haggas (the trainer of One Master, 1st)

“We were here last year when Enable beat Sea of Class [trained by the same William Haggas]. However, the victory of One Master provides for a very different feeling. One Master is a superb mare and one who shows commendable consistency. She invariably puts her best foot forward and conditions were ideal for her. The very soft ground here was right up her street, and the reverse was true at Deauville [fifth in the Prix Maurice de Gheest on top of the ground conditions]. Furthermore, she was ridden by a jockey who has simply been on fire! As for future plans, I simply don’t know. The British Champions Sprint (Group 1) is run over a trip [1.200m] which is too sharp for her. It’s entirely possible that she will attempt to land a third consecutive success in this same race next year, as her owners and myself will simply be too old when it comes to breeding and training the mare’s future offspring (laughing). We would, therefore, to have a bit more fun on the racecourse with her before that.”

Pierre-Charles Boudot (the jockey of One Master, 1st)

“It been some weekend – in fact it’s been a little crazy. This win, which we had been expecting for some time, is a real source of pleasure. I was of the mind that she was my best ride of the weekend and, hey presto, she has delivered. In the Prix Maurice de Gheest the ground was riding good but it didn’t suit her. Her trainer has been a dab hand when it has come to the mare’s preparation as he has successfully freshened her up. There’s no denying that we had a good trip and, if anything, I believe that I came a little too soon. The British raiders really turned on the heat in this race, but when I called upon her for her effort with 250 metres to go, she really knuckled down to her task and that made the difference. The last 60 metres races seemed to drag on eternity, but she showed the required class to see the race out. When you’re lucky enough to get your weekend underway by riding four winners {Saturday}, it gives you a tremendous lift and everything went like a treat. The aim was to get the mare to relax as, on this type of ground, it can make a difference. She has feet like soup plates.”

Jean-Louis Bouchard (the co-owner of City Light, 2nd)

“City Light was coming off two wins but the winner was the defending champion, and she was the runner which I feared the most. He more than held his own against the winner for much of the race, and we thought that he might pull it off. Christophe Soumillon didn’t wish to hit the front too early and the British raider appeared on the scene at a rate of knots. It was a superb finish. It’s great to go into this type of race with a live chance, and that’s something to savour. It’s the first time that I’ve been involved with a horse that has been campaigned at two, three, four and five! I think that the other co-owners would like to take a shot at the Breeders’ Cup. As I see it, I believe that he has a one in two chance of making the trip to the US. However, the decision isn’t mine alone!”