Metropolitan holds off UK challenge in Poule d'Essai des Poulains

Metropolitan made it two-from-two for the French in the Classics on Sunday, as he landed the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp.

Longchamp Racecourse, home of the Arc De Triomphe
Longchamp Racecourse, home of the Arc De Triomphe

Trained by Mario Baratti, the Zarak colt was unbeaten in two starts over a mile as a juvenile but suffered a defeat on his reappearance in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau. It was a completely different story in the French 2000 Guineas, with jockey Alexis Pouchin always keeping Metropolitan prominent. He was asked to challenge with a furlong to go and the colt remained in control to the line, beating the fast-finishing Dancing Gemini by half-a-length.

"I've been at this a long time and have had some good horses, but a day like today is unimaginable," said part-owner Peter Bradley in an interview with Sky Sports Racing.

"You will have to talk to the trainer, but someone mentioned Royal Ascot if he wins – it's possible and we will see how he comes out of this race.

"We knew we had a very good horse and I think he proved he is a champion."

The second-placed Dancing Gemini could return to France for the Prix du Jockey Club in June, but he also holds an entry in the Epsom Derby.

"He ran a blinder and we've always had confidence in him – thank God he's backed us up today," said trainer Roger Teal.

"I thought we were going to get there and he's done everything right, the winner just got a few lengths on us turning in and got a good run up the rail. Dancing Gemini was getting there and he went down on his sword.

"He hasn't had a prep run and will benefit for this race. If he can come forward from this, then you would like to think there is a big day in him.

"We're going to have to have a chat and he's in both the English and French Derby. He's bred to stay, but he's also got a lot of speed, he's got a good kick. We'll let the dust settle, have a chat and see which way we want to head."

Racing and Sports

today's racing

Error occured
{{course.CountryName || course.Country}}