Gutsy Permian denied by Shakeel in thrilling Grand Prix de Paris
Permian was denied a first Group 1 victory in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (2400m) at Saint-Cloud on Friday as Shakeel collared him in the final stride under Christophe Soumillon for Alain De Royer Dupre.
The traditional Bastille Day feature looked wide-open beforehand and provided a fittingly tight finish.
Permian soon took the lead under William Buick, who had been second on Wuheida in the Falmouth Stakes earlier in the afternoon. He was allowed a fairly easy lead and pressed on turning into the straight.
Shakeel had been kept to the inside by Soumillon and was pulled out well over a furlong from the finish. He made steady inroads into Permian's lead, but it looked as though the ultra-tough Mark Johnston-trained colt was going to hold on right until the line.
He was arguably in front there, too, but Shakeel's nose was down and he duly got the narrow verdict in a photo finish.
Venice Beach fared the best of the Aidan O'Brien trio in third. Few others got meaningfully involved and Ice Breeze, in the colours of the sponsors, caught the eye somewhat in fourth.
The victory was a 100th in Group 1s for Soumillon, who is retained by Shakeel's owner the Aga Khan.