Unfortunately led home a one-two for the Middleham trainer Karl Burke in the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville. After winning the Group Two Prix Robert Papin on his previous start, Unfortunately graduated to the top level with flying colours.
The Society Rock colt, wearing blinkers for the first time, bounded into the lead in the closing stages after settling well towards the rear of the field for Tony Piccone. The winner’s stablemate Havana Grey made the running and stuck to his task to hang on for second place, just ahead of the French-trained Albany Stakes-scorer Different League. The other British raider, Mark Johnston’s Nyaleti, faded out of contention after having been prominent early on.
Burke said: “In the early part of the year the pair worked together and Havana Grey was always quicker, but you could see Unfortunately was catching up all the time and he got in front this time. I’ve been very lucky to have some nice horses, particularly in France, but to have a one-two in the Morny is fantastic. The Middle Park is probably the race for Unfortunately next. The other fellow did stay but he’s got a lot of natural speed. They both have futures beyond being two-year-olds.”
The Prix Morny carried a prize worth £170,000, with another £68,000 for the runner-up.
Deauville’s other Group One on Sunday was won by the Newmarket trainer Roger Varian, who saddled Ajman Princess to take the Prix Jean Romanet. “She’s in the Prix de l’Opéra and in the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar so we’ll see what happens,” he said afterwards.
At the same track, Marmelo gave East Ilsley’s Hughie Morrison back-to-back victories in the Group Two Prix Kergorlay when making virtually all the running.
The Curragh’s main Group Two prize went to Aidan O’Brien when Ryan Moore cajoled Rostropovich to deliver a late thrust to win the Futurity Stakes.
The Ballydoyle stablemate Coat Of Arms looked to have cut loose in the hands of Donnacha O’Brien, but Moore would not be denied. The 11-8 favourite was not the most willing ally, but his jockey revved him up for one last push to score by a short-head.
Aidan O’Brien said: “He stayed at it well. He wasn’t mad about the ground and will get further than seven furlongs. On better ground he’ll travel better. He was a bit laboured and the National Stakes is a possible.”
The trainer warned that Capri was not a certain runner in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Wednesday. The Irish Derby winner is the big-name entry from seven possible runners from the Ballydoyle yard, but he might now head straight for the St Leger at Doncaster in mid-September.
O’Brien said: “Capri may not go for the Voltigeur. He didn’t have a clean scope this morning, and we’ll see how he is tomorrow. Usually if it’s not clean today it won’t be tomorrow, so we’ll see.