G1 glory for Earthlight in Darley Prix Morny
Earthlight confirmed his status as one of Europe’s top two-year-olds as he maintained his unbeaten record with a brave success in the six-furlong G1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, France, on Sunday, 18 August.
The Andre Fabre-trained Shamardal colt, encountering heavy going for the first time following three wins on quicker ground, was covered up behind the leaders in an eight-strong field that included four G2 winners.
Earthlight quickened strongly after being switched out to deliver his challenge by Mickael Barzalona with two furlongs to race and headed long-time leader Raffle Prize entering the final furlong.
Raffle Prize, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, rallied and the two opened up daylight over the rest of the runners in the closing stages, with Earthlight drifting right before getting the measure of his rival near the line for a neck victory in 1m 12.00s.
Andre Fabre said: “For me, this was one of the best two-year-old races in Europe. I was delighted with Earthlight beforehand but was not over-confident because it is a tough race to win.
“Shamardal is a super sire and this horse will get further. He will be a Guineas horse for sure and the question will be whether he runs again this year or has a break.
“If he recovers from this race, then we might go for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (G1, 7f, Newmarket, Saturday, 12 October) and I would favour the 2,000 Guineas (G1, 1m) at Newmarket for him next year. He is obviously a top-class horse.”
Mickael Barzalona said: “It was an impressive performance from Earthlight. The ground was a big question mark but he is a very tough horse and did it very well.”