Saint-Cloud: Soleil Marin gives Godolphin one-two in first Group test on turf

Soleil Marin collared stablemate Magny Cours close home in the Prix Exbury at Saint-Cloud on Sunday for a one-two for Godolphin and trainer Andre Fabre. The Ralph Beckett-trained veteran Air Pilot finished third. 

Fabre had managed to get a run into both his contenders for the Group 3 – the first European Pattern race of 2019 on turf – and fitness told on ground described as very heavy.

"I think Soleil Marin is really coming back to his best now and I think this was a career-best performance," said Godolphin's Lisa-Jane Graffard.

"He had a really good comeback on the all-weather at Chantilly and we felt that, if he improved on that, he had a chance of being in the frame. He really likes cut in the ground as well as the all-weather. We'll have a chat with Andre and see where he goes."

Magny Cours was far from disgraced in second, beaten a length and a quarter.

Graffard said: "We've always thought a lot of him and Mickael Barzalona just said he probably didn't quite stay, whereas Pierre-Charles Boudot said when he had Magny Cours in his sights, Soleil Marin really dug deep to reel him in." 

Earlier Maxime Guyon triumphed on a pair of three-year-olds who look capable of having an impact when the serious Classic trials get under way next month. 

Shaman was thought worthy of contesting the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and made his class tell when making nearly all in the Listed Prix Omnium II over a mile.

Trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias said: "He was far from disgraced in the Group 1 when he finished fifth and this is a family that improves at three. You're always worried about heavy ground for a comeback run but he relaxed well in front. The Prix de Fontainebleau is the logical next step."

Guyon showed far more patience when coming from last to first in the Prix la Camargo aboard Tifosa for in-form trainer Pia Brandt. 

"Maxime felt they went off hard and she relaxed well in behind before accelerating well – she did it perfectly," said Brandt. "It shows she has some class and we can start dreaming.

"Normally it would be the Prix de la Grotte next, then hopefully the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches."