PRINCE OF WALES'S STAKES
1 Vision D'etat 4/1
Vision Victorious for France
French raider Vision D’Etat captured today’s feature Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes after being produced with a well-timed run under Olivier Peslier to beat Tartan Bearer by half a length.
The winner is trained in the Loire Valley by Eric Libaud, who was delighted with the victory.
"I’ve won races in Hong Kong, Dubai and at home but I think out of all of my winners throughout the world, this is the best one,” said Libaud. “I knew that it was going to be difficult but I knew that the horse was going well and Olivier had said to me beforehand that the straight is very long here at Ascot and I was quietly confident. It’s certainly the best victory I have ever achieved.
“The race panned out exactly as we had hoped and although we forgot to declare a tongue strap, that was more of a worry to the media than myself, we just put it in him at the start of his career so continued doing it because we had always done it.”
Vision D’Etat was quoted at 10/1 by bookmakers for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, in which he finished fifth last year, the Longchamp showpiece will again be the target.
Libaud added: “I think this horse is better this year than last, he’s really grown into himself and I think we could go into the Arc with a realistic chance this season because the crop is not so good as last year.”
Peslier added: “I wasn’t really panicking at the back because just before I was behind the lead and the horse on the outside was moving well. I didn’t really have the chance to move out and my horse is not lazy but it took him a little bit of time.
"I took a chance at the rear and after that, the horse was moving well and the trainer told me before that it is better to come late because in France they stop a little bit. The race was perfect for me because, after taking a chance, he fought on well and was very strong in the finish. I never thought we would be beaten.
"He a typical French horse - when you are a length or two behind, it’s not really a big problem because he has a good turn of foot and finishes very well. That was a big help to me. When we talked about plans beforehand we said it would be better to stay behind and come from there.
"I think that everybody loves Royal Ascot - for the racing and also for the champagne bar! For the ladies and the people, and my wife is very happy to come here and see Royal Ascot. All the team are very happy
“The horse won the French Derby last year but he continues to progress and today is very special for French racing because all the champions are here at this meeting.
“Of course he is a four-year-old now so this will be his chance to go for the Arc but we must celebrate today properly so I will see you in the champagne bar!”
TARTAN BEARER STILL AWAITS GROUP ONE WIN
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute was full of praise for Tartan Bearer, after his charge narrowly missed out again on a Group One victory, finishing half a length adrift of Vision d’Etat in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.
“He ran another great race, he’s never run a bad one. We would have liked a quicker early pace, but they all would. We’ve got no excuses,” said Stoute.
“The horse is widely entered and we’ve got all the options. We’ll wait and see how he comes out of this,” added the trainer.
The placed horses all finished within a length of the winner and Never On Sunday just failed to make up the ground on Tartan Bearer, finishing a head behind the Stoute-trained colt.
Trainer Jean Claude Rouget said: "From the stands I thought there wasn’t enough pace and he came up to horses racing wide, which made it difficult but Christophe (Lemaire) said he ran very well. I’m very happy with the horse. The three favourites were the first three home. Ten furlongs is ideal for him but he can handle nine furlongs as well.”
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