Trainer Aiden O’Brien picked up his 21st G1 win of the 2017 season, as his fine filly Happily beat the boys as the favorite in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Legardere Saturday at Chantilly. The victory earned Happily a fees-paid entry to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 4 at Del Mar in Southern California.
The win by Happily also awarded her 10 points on the “European Road to the Kentucky Derby”, which awards the top-4 finishers qualifying points (10-4-2-1).
Already a Group 1 winner at 7 furlongs after narrowly beating stablemate Magical at Curragh three weeks ago, Happily made a quick dash in the final half-furlong to overtake Olmedo and Masor, who finished second and thirdin the Prix Jean-Luc Legardere. Trainer Charlie Appleby’s pair of Mythical Magic and Masar controlled the pace, with leading home-trained runner Olmedo splitting the pair at the top of the home straight. Masar responded to pressure to stay with the strong-travelling Olmedo, but neither had any answer for the filly Happily’s late burst.
Jockey Ryan Moore was pleased with Happily, “We started racing a long way from home and she showed a great will to win. For a filly to beat the colts is a good thing for the future.”
One odds maker cut Happily to 5-1 from 8-1 for the Qipco 1000 Guineas and 6-1 from 10-1 for the Investec Oaks.
Another book made Happily their 9-2 second-favourite for the Guineas behind stablemate Clemmie – winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday – at 3-1.
Trainer O’Brien added, "She showed she got the mile well so we think the (Juvenile) Fillies’ race (Breeders’ Cup) could suit her."
Appleby said of his two runners, "It doesn’t look like Mythical Magic stayed and I think we’ll bring him back to seven furlongs for his next run…I think Masar will be a better horse on better ground. He’s got bags of ability, but that will be it for this year. James (Doyle) said he didn’t take the bend very well."
|0||Happily (IRE) 0-0|
|0||Olmedo (FR) 0-0|
|0||Masar (IRE) 0-0|