Robin Of Navan performs valiantly
British raider Robin Of Navan had to settle for second as Mekhtaal just got up to claim Group One glory in the Prix d'Ispahan at Chantilly.
The Harry Dunlop-trained Robin Of Navan was to the fore from the off in the nine-furlong heat, with Cristian Demuro content to set the early pace.
His plan looked likely to bear fruit as coming into the final furlong Robin Of Navan was still in the lead, with favourite Zarak nowhere near in contention.
However, Gregory Benoist stoked up Mekhtaal to launch his challenge on the outside of Robin Of Navan, with the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt just edging the verdict at the line.
The pair pulled clear of the remaining three runners, with Usherette bagging third place.
Vazirabad was made to work hard to secure victory in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier, the main supporting event on the card.
Winner of the Dubai Gold Cup on his most recent start in March, the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained runner was a hot favourite for the Group Two prize but looked as though he could be in trouble when challenged by Sirius in the final furlong.
However, Christophe Soumillon kept him up to the task in the final strides to record a narrow victory.