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Persian King beats Pinatubo in exhilarating G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp


Persian King produced a relentless display of galloping to see off a fast-finishing Pinatubo in an outstanding renewal of the G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp at Longchamp, France, on Sunday, 6 September.

All six runners in the mile showpiece had already scored at least twice at G1 level, with Persian King having annexed both the 2019 Poule d’Essai des Poulains and this season’s Prix d’Ispahan for trainer Andre Fabre.

The four-year-old colt was quickly into his stride under Pierre-Charles Boudot and soon settled in a clear second behind Circus Maximus, with the duo opening up an eight-length advantage over the rest of the field. Pinatubo raced in fourth, with Godolphin’s third contender Victor Ludorum being held up in last after breaking slowly.

Circus Maximus continued to dictate with a reduced lead at the half-way point before attempting to kick on at the top of the straight. Persian King easily covered the move and cruised up to hit the front passing the two-furlong pole before powering clear of his rivals in a matter of strides.

Persian King opened up further daylight approaching the final furlong, with Pinatubo emerging from the chasing pack with an exceptional turn of foot. Pinatubo made inexorable headway all the way to the line but the Charlie Appleby-trained three-year-old could not challenge Persian King, who held on well for a length and three-quarter victory. Circus Maximus took third, a full six lengths behind Pinatubo, with Victor Ludorum keeping on in fifth behind Siskin.

Andre Fabre said: “Persian King’s victory was expected, to be fair. I don’t want to play the genius but I was very confident because I could train him properly for the first time. The surfaces were better than in August and it was less warm, so I could train him harder.

“He won’t run in the Irish Champion Stakes because the timing is too close and it will be a choice between the Champion Stakes [at Ascot] and the Arc. I don’t know if a mile and a half would be better as there is obviously a question mark over the distance.”

Pierre-Charles Boudot added: “I love Persian King. He is good and a beautiful horse. The pace was good – not too strong – and Circus Maximus was a good leader for me. My horse was very quiet and relaxed today.

“When I asked him to do the job, he gave me a very nice long turn of foot. He stays the mile very well and the ground was too deep for him last time out, but today’s ground was good.”

Charlie Appleby said: “Pinatubo has run another solid race and seen the mile out. We will see how he comes out of the race and discuss it with connections, but I think the plan will be to come back to Longchamp for the Prix de la Foret and then hopefully on to the Breeders’ Cup Mile.”