Big outsider Coeursamba denied Mother Earth a Guineas double in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at ParisLongchamp.
The three year old Jean-Claude Rouget-trained filly denied Aidan O’Brien’s favourite, Mother Earth, a winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, England, in early May.
Coeursamba is a first Group One victory and third stakes winner overall for her sire, the late The Wow Signal, a former Coventry Stakes and Prix Morny winner. A son of Starspangledbanner, the former shuttle stallion died from laminitis days before Coeursamba was foaled.
Though one of the slowest fillies to leave the stalls at ParisLongchamp, Coeursamba found a nice position on the rail close to the favourite who had settled well in midfield in the early stages of the one mile contest.
A furlong and a half out, the Irish-trained Mother Earth was in full flight under jockey Christophe Soumillion, with Coeursamba finding a break in the field, allowing her to make her challenge.
Despite a valiant effort, the Coolmore partners-owned daughter of Zoffany could not match the finishing speed of Coeursamba, yielding to the eventual winner in the dying strides of the race. Jean-Claude Rouget’s filly had a length and a quarter in hand on Mother Earth. Aidan O’Brien’s English 1000 Guineas winner battled hard to maintain her second place, having just a short neck to spare over Kennella at the wire.
“You never know in these Classics, but I thought she was in great form,” said the winning conditioner Jean-Claude Rouget. “She got a great trip on the inside and saved ground, then quickened twice like all the good horses do,” he explained.
“The filly was in great shape,” the Frenchman continued. “We gave her the entire winter off and sent her to the stud. We couldn’t get her back in very early, but that didn’t worry me too much as she ran quite a lot as a two-year-old.”
“I picked the Prix du Louvre for her seasonal comeback, with orders to give her a gentle race. Everything went well for her today – a good draw, in good physical condition. She has experience, and that matters in these kinds of races.
“We are very pleasantly surprised. I was surprised by the acceleration that she showed – twice. She showed double the acceleration of some very good fillies.”
Cristian Demuro, number one stable jockey to Rouget, praised Coeursamba highly for her brave effort, stating:
“At the top of the open stretch I knew I had loads of horse under me and when I pushed the button, she took off instantly. We didn’t have an obvious chance beforehand but I believed in her because she had come on well for her reappearance and she looked wonderful in the parade ring. Now we can certainly say she is a good horse!”
Trainer of the runner-up Aidan O’Brien was proud of the effort from Mother Earth following a 14-day turnaround from the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, while handler of the third-placed filly Nicolas Caullery was delighted with his runner Kennella, admitting:
“If you had offered me third ahead of time I’d have taken it on the spot. It was her first try at a mile and she was so brave. Sebastien Maillot rode a very cool race and we’ve had this race in mind ever since she was placed in the Prix Miesque last autumn.”
The race winner Coeursamba cost just €40,000 when purchased by Rouget at the 2019 Deauville August Yearling Sale. She then exchanged hands for €400,000 when bought by Haras du Saubouas at last year’s Arqana Arc Sale.
Rouget, who has now won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches five times, believes a mile is Coeursamba optimum trip. Though races such as the Group 1 Prix Diane (French Oaks) and the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in late June were immediately mentioned as possible targets for the winner out of the Anabaa mare Marechael, Rouget urged caution.
“She’s not entered in the Coronation because there are so many issues with Brexit and Covid, so we’ll see what we do,” said Rouget. “I don’t think she’ll go to the Diane, I think she’ll stay at this trip.”
Photo: Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, (Equidia Twitter account @equidia)