Satwa Queen grabs spoils in Opera

Filed on 7 Oct 2007 @ 14:05

Last year's second prevails in tight three-way finish

Jean de Roualle's five year old Satwa Queen (Muhtathir - Tolga, by Irish River) prevailed in a thrilling tight finish to the Group One Prix de l'Opera over 2000m. Light Shift failed to quicken from a promising position and Finsceal Beo finished midfield after a long season.

Sir Michael Stoute's Promising Lead, stepping up from a Listed win at Salisbury in August, took the lead at the 300m mark and held on for an impressive second. Andre Fabre's Legerete came with a fast run from last place and looked the likely winner for Olivier Peslier, but Satwa Queen came from almost as far back, forging between horses to win by a short margin.

Satwa Queen was second to Mandesha in this race last year, and has a light campaign geared around the race this season. She was second in the Prix Allez France and the Windsor Forest before a second win in the Group Two Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August. She has now won two Group Threes, two Group Twos and a Group One.

Trainer Jean de Roualle said: "This race has been the plan all season and she has only had the three runs. I was scared of Light Shift but now I feel like I did yesterday when France beat the All Blacks.

"She deserved that and is a champion. She might go to Hong Kong if she gets invited but I don't know if she'll stay in training next year as she is five and has won a Group One, so what more can she do?"

Henry Cecil said of Light Shift: "It's been a long year and she's run flat. In every way at home she had been fantastic but it's a different thing on the track at this time of year and she just hasn't quickened up.

"She's been in training since March and you see it time after time with fillies at this time of year. There is a chance she could stay in training."

Jim Bolger said of Finsceal Beo: "She's run some way below her best form and I don't know why. She travelled into the straight very well but was not involved at the business end. She'll have a long break now and then we'll look forward to Dubai."

Filed on 7 Oct 2007 @ 14:05