Blackbeard and Ioritz Mendizabal return to the Chantilly winning house after an impressive success at the Robert Papin Prize

O’Brien ends long wait for Papin success as Blackbeard leads home 1-2 | Horse racing news

Race Mail / Scott Burton

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Blackbeard and Ioritz Mendizabal return to the Chantilly winning house after an impressive success at the Robert Papin Prize

Race Mail / Scott Burton

Sunday: Chantilly

A filly christened after a pirate who had such a fearsome reputation that he would often bring about a surrender without having to fire a shot, the horse-like Blackbeard put on a dominant display worthy of his seafaring namesake when he delivered a stable 1-2 for Aidan O’Brien home led the Group 2 Robert Papin Prize.

Although the son of No Nay Never once again showed a few immature signs in the parade ring and at the start, he was in full swing after the stands opened and when Coolmore’s favorite French talisman Ioritz Mendizabal gave him his head just after half the race was on over effectively as competition over.

Stablemate The Antarctic came out of the pack to chase in vain but he was still three lengths behind the line while Vicious Harry went the same distance back in third place.

Paddy Power responded by reducing Blackbeard to 25-1 (from 40) for next season’s 2,000 guineas, the same price as Coral.

“We’re thrilled with Blackbeard,” said Aidan O’Brien, who watched from the Curragh as he clinched his second win at the Papin 23 years after his success with Rossini.

“He was a baby all along and although he was still babyish today, Ioritz was very impressed with him. He said that he was professional and won easily. He’s definitely making progress with every run he achieves.”

After winning with Little Big Bear in Group 3 in the Anglesey Stakes on Saturday, O’Brien clearly has some very fast two-year-olds to juggle ahead of next month’s junior Group 1s of the year, the Phoenix Stakes and the Prix Morning.

“We were just trying to split them up and that’s why he went to France,” O’Brien said. “He could return to Curragh for the Phoenix Stakes, which is also an option for Little Big Bear. We were also very happy with The Antarctic. He’s coming too, but he’s probably not really there yet. He’s still making progress.”

The success marked a dominant return to competition for O’Brien, who last fielded runners at the Papin in 2003 and batted with Rossini in 1999 on his only other attempt.

It was also another significant success for Mendizabal in the Coolmore silk as he won the Prix de Diane aboard Joan Of Arc and French 2,000 Guineas last year and the Prix du Jockey Club atop St. Mark’s Basilica.

Wally May joins Rouget’s Ireland champions weekend squad

Wally became a well-supported favorite for the Group 3 Prix Messidor on his first start since chasing Dreamloper home in the Prix d’Ispahan and while his supporters worked up a sweat, the popular gray son of Siyouni pulled a bit more purely the last 50 yards to deny Longvillers and Axdavali.

Race Mail / Scott Burton

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Winning connections with Wally following the Gray's success in the Prix Messidor

Winning connections with Wally following the Gray’s success in the Prix Messidor

Race Mail / Scott Burton

“He knows where the post is but it wasn’t an ideal scenario today without pace,” said coach Jean-Claude Rouget. “He had to take the lead at the two-leg post and that’s too early for him. He ended up waiting for the others and then kicked again.

“He can also walk a mile and a half so he can go to the Gontaut-Biron [at Deauville] and after that he could go to Ireland with Vadeni and run a mile in Group 2 [the Boomerang Stakes]that might be interesting for him.”

Stephane Pasquier ended a memorable week by filling in for the suspended Christophe Soumillon to score a complete win aboard Tariyana in the Group 3 Prix Chloe.

The win came three days after Pasquier’s victory at the Grand Prix de Paris riding Onesto.

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