'Once in a lifetime' Alpha Centauri out of this world at Deauville

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Sun 12 Aug 2018

Watch a full replay of the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on Sunday won by Alpha Centauri and get full reaction with our report.

Alpha Centauri secured her fourth consecutive Group One when she stormed to an easy win in the Prix Jaques Le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.

Following on from victories in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes and against older opposition in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last time the daughter of Mastercraftsman duly justified favouritism at 10-11.

It was a first win in the race for trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Colm O'Donoghue.

"She's an amazing filly," Harrington said.

"I must admit, bringing her here to take on colts and older horses, I thought I must be mad. But then again, I felt we might as well keep her going and it was a fantastic performance.

"Three furlongs down she decided it was time to go, which was longer from the finish than I'd hoped, but I could see on the screen that she had the group on the far side behind her and once given her head, she just kept going away from them.

"When she does that, you hope she's not burning up too much energy because there are several possibilities now."

Alpha Centauri is entered in next month's Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in October and the Queen Eliazabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Qipco British Champions Day, and is also pencilled in for a tilt at the Breeders' Cup Mile.

She is now no better than 5-2 with Coral for Churchill Downs in November, and as short as 7-4. She is as big as 7-2 with Ladbrokes for the QEII Stakes, and as short as 7-4. Ladbrokes may well regret sticking their heads above the parapet.

"She's in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, the Sun Chariot at Newmarket and the mile at Ascot (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) and if she does make it through to the Breeders' Cup, it will have been a very long season by then," Harrington added.

 Alpha Centauri was an easy winner of the Prix Jacques Le Marois (FocusOnracing)
Alpha Centauri was an easy winner of the Prix Jacques Le Marois (FocusOnracing)

"She's given me a few sleepless nights, I have to admit that, but it's not quite like training Moscow Flyer as there are no fences to worry about!

"I really want to see how she is before making a definite plan and she will be back home in her stable tonight."

She later added, in an interview with the Racing Post: "She's a once-in-a-lifetime filly for me to train, she's just amazing."

As soon as the gates opened Romanised and Shane Foley and Success Days and Gregory Benoist went right to the centre of the track, dragging the lesser fancied horses with them.

From stall four Colm O’Donoghue anchored the Niarchos family’s star behind French runner With You on the near-side rail.

Just over two furlongs in to the Group One mile contest, O’Donoghue pulled out his mount and she pulled to the front to take the lead from the Irish duo who led the other group.

From there it was simply a matter of how far, as the grey galloped her rivals in to submission.

Recoletos made vain pursuit to finish second, while With You underlined her class by staying on for third.

The Ken Condon-trained pair of Success Days and Romanised finished in midfield, ahead of Eve Johnson Houghton’s shock Queen Anne Stakes victor Accidental Agent.

Charlie Bishop, rider of Accidental Agent, felt something may have been amiss, adding: "He was never going at any stage. That isn't his true form."

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