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Monday, 10 May 2021 06:58 GMT

Millau wins on debut for Sheikh Mohamed at Saint-Cloud


(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Millau made a perfect debut in the blue silks and white stars of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani at Saint-Cloud on Wednesday when winning the Prix Phebe, a newcomer's race over 1,400m.
Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard and ridden by Hugo Journiac, the three-year-old colt, who was also bred by Sheikh Mohamed's Al Shahania Stud, was making his first appearance on the track and faced 11 rivals in this competitive race.
The runners broke evenly from the starting stalls, and Journiac quickly took Millau to the rail, allowing him to smoothly progress forward to take the lead after 300m. Heartbeat, initially in the lead before relayed by Millau, sat in second by a length, with Eoinstyle in third.
Millau travelled strongly through the bend and, turning down the centre of the track in the home straight, showed a good acceleration. His rivals, previously bunched in behind him in the turn, now spread across the track, with a strong run coming from Sparklia from off the pace, and Pinwheel on the far rail.
However, Millau always maintained his advantage and his rivals were unable to gain and ground on the eventual winner. He won by three-quarters-of-a-length in front of Sparklia, while Pinwheel just held on to third from Jojogo in fourth. Just a short head separated the fifth place, which went to Tombecka.
'The orders weren't to go in front, but he was a little lazy coming out of the stalls. Hugo Journiac said afterwards that he had encouraged him to go on to get a good position, and the colt took himself up to the lead. He was tough in the finish, despite his immaturity. He was looking around, and the track was a bit soft, which is why he shortened up in the final strides. I think the post only just came soon enough, but he is a nice colt who will improve mentally and physically, Graffard said after the win.
By Wootton Bassett, sire of European Champion Almanzor, Millau is out of the Sageburg mare Sage Melody. She was multiple Group placed for Sheikh Mohamed and Millau is her fourth foal, and her fourth winner.      

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