Spain wins for France at HQ

Fair Eva was again turned over at odds-on as Spain Burg claimed a cosmpolitan victory in the Rockfel Stakes under Frankie Dettori.

Spain Burg leads Fair Eva home in the Rockfel

Trained in France by Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte for Spanish owner Roberto Cocheteux Tierno and ridden by Italian Dettori, the daughter of Sageburg had worked her way through the grades at home, but was taking a leap in grade here.

However, she always travelled sweetly despite racing slightly freely in the early stages and whereas Pat Smullen was having to work from a fairly early stage on 4/9 favourite Fair Eva, Dettori was swinging along on the bridle with a furlong to run.

Brought towards the stands' side to throw down her final challenge, she swept past Fair Eva to score by a length and a quarter, with Miss Infinity, who had finished a long way behind Fair Eva at Ascot, only a neck further back at 25/1.

Based in South-West of France with around 50 horses, Demeaulte – a former assistant to Francois Doumen and Carlos Laffon-Parias – had earmarked this contest after she had won a Listed event at La Teste de Buch in the French provinces early last month.

"After the race in La Teste there were no races for her in France," the trainer said.

"I was helped by Jocelyn de Moubray to find the right race for her – there was this one or one at Goodwood and I think we made the right choice. England is very famous for the races and so it's a pleasure to be here. We have been very well received at Newmarket.

"I have always liked her. She was the first two year old I ran this year. It is incredible to win this. You dream of it but you don't think it will happen.

"The first thing I said to Frankie before the race is not to go to the front until late. She has a real turn of foot."

The trainer said he would now talk with the owners, but said a return trip to Newmarket for next year's QIPCO 1000 Guineas – for which she earned a 20/1 quote from Sky Bet – could well be on the cards.

"Let's speak with the owners but I'd like to think so," he said.

"This was a very different race to the ones she has run in already but she did it well, like an older horse. She won't run again this season now.

"The owner is Spanish. He worked a lot in Colombia but he has sold his business and wanted to have some horses. He spent a lot of money at the sales and has some of his horses in Spain and some in France with me."

Dettori said that he feels Spain Burg will handle the extra furlong of the mile Classic.

He said: "I was reading the form and she won a small Listed race in Toulouse. The only time she got beaten was when she was forced to make the running. So I tried to get cover. We had a bit of a fight in the first two furlongs but I tried to ride her cool and she had a great turn of foot.

"I was not sure what she would be like against these, but she never looked like getting beat. But for sure, we will go for the Guineas. If they are the best around, we beat them fair and square. Another furlong shouldn't be a problem."

Fair Eva was pushed out to 6/1 from 16/1 for the 1000 Guineas by Sky Bet.

A deflated Roger Charlton said: "She was slightly disappointing and to be honest with you, I thought she ran below form.

"The trip is fine and I hope that she gets a mile next year."

But Pat Smullen was more upbeat and added: "She ran a bit immature and I had a suspicion of that last time at York and she confirmed it today.

"She needs a winter on her back to strengthen up but she will be a beautiful filly next year and just lacks a bit of maturity at the moment."

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