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Group One delight for Newmarket’s Morris in France

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FRENCH GLORY: Prix de l'Abbaye winner Marsha with groom Manuel Fernandes
FRENCH GLORY: Prix de l'Abbaye winner Marsha with groom Manuel Fernandes

Newmarket jockey Luke Morris is beginning to enjoy riding in the Prix de l’Abbaye on what turned out to be an unforgettable afternoon for Newmarket trainers at Chantilly.

Six years after steering Gilt Edge Girl to success in the big race, Morris timed it to perfection on Sir Mark Prescott’s Marsha on Sunday.

It completed a memorable few hours for home handlers across The Channel after Wuheida’s victory in the Prix Marcel Boussac for Charlie Appleby and Speedy Boarding’s success in the Prix de l’Opera for James Fanshawe.

A delighted Morris said: “The boss had freshened her up for this. We’ve always had high hopes for her and this is the icing on the cake.

“She’s always promised a lot but last time she was a little bit flat. They’ve changed her routine slightly and it seems to have paid off.”

First blood on the afternoon went to Appleby’s Wuheida in the Prix Marcel Boussac.

Ridden by William Buick, the filly made the step up from maiden company to Group One honours in impressive style.

Appleby told the Racing Post: “It’s great for Godolphin and the team.

“She’s a home bred as well, so that’s really exciting for the boss and Dubawi’s first Group One winner as a two-year-old too, so that’s a nice feather in the cap.

“We knew Frankie would go off on the front end and try to dictate it, so we were always going to try to be positive.

“She’s a filly we knew would appreciate stepping up from seven furlongs and she’s a filly with a bright future, stepping up even further next year.”

Wuheida’s performance saw her assume favouritism for both the 1000 Guineas and Oaks.

“I don’t think we’ll see her again this year,” admitted Appleby.

“For me, she was one of the stand-outs in the paddock in terms of a filly going forward to a three-year-old career.

“She’s a lovely, big, scopey filly and one we’ve always had our eye on as maybe being an Oaks filly.”

Fanshawe also favours his trips to France and there was a second Group One success for Speedy Boarding.

The filly gave Fanshawe a fifth victory at the highest level across the water as she brushed aside Pleascach and So Mi Dar.

Fanshawe said of Freddie Tylicki’s mount, who could now be retired: “She’s been a wonderful filly for the yard.

“She’s raised her game again from the Romanet and she really battled. To win two Group Ones in a season is really quite something.

“She’s just improved and improved as the year’s gone on. She’ll retire now; the fillies’ and mares’ race (Champions Day at Ascot) would probably come a bit too soon.”

Roger Varian’s hot favourite Postponed could only manage fifth in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The famous race was won by Found, who led home a stunning one-two-three for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

The 6-1 shot, ridden by Ryan Moore, quickened inside the last two furlongs to pass the pacesetter Vedevani and kept up the gallop for an emphatic victory.

Higland Reel, under Seamie Heffernan, and Order of St George, ridden by Frankie Dettori, completed an unprecedented top three of all O’Brien’s entries.