Ectot came out best in a duel with Karakontie to enhance his Classic claims in the Prix de Fontainebleau at Longchamp.
Winner of his final four starts as a juvenile having been beaten by Karakontie when the pair made their debuts at Compiegne in July, the Elie Lellouche-trained three-year-old was recently added to the Investec Derby field at a cost of �8,000.
Racing immediately behind what looked a genuine pace set by stablemate Serans in the Group Three contest, the Gregory Benoist-ridden Ectot took over around two furlongs out and quickened up smartly, always holding the upper hand thereafter as he snugly held the chasing Karakontie.
Coral cut Ectot to 16-1 from 25-1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 3, but he appears more likely to stay at home for a tilt at the French equivalent, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
Benoist said: “I couldn’t wait to ride Ectot in a race (again). We didn’t want to suffer a slowly run race and that is why we put in a leader. He delivered a beautiful final straight. He has a lot of speed and certainly seems to have grown up during the winter. I hope he can take me to new heights.”
Lesstalk In Paris gained her revenge on Indonesienne as she led all the way to take the Prix De La Grotte.
Jean-Claude Rouget’s filly, who was beaten three-quarters of a length by her rival when they occupied the first two places in the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc day last season, was a reluctant early leader as none of the five jockeys looked keen to go on in this French 1000 Guineas trial.
Christophe Soumillon set a sedate pace in the Group Three contest over a mile and it turned into a sprint through the final two furlongs, with Lesstalk In Paris not hard pressed to hold off Straight Thinking. Indonesienne made some progress and was closing in third, but never threatened the winner.
The winning jockey said: “You never know how prep races turn out. She came quickly out of the stalls and I was struggling to hold on to her. We wanted her to learn how to breathe by keeping her in behind the other, but I didn’t have a choice.
“I hope she will be able to recover in time (for the French 1000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches), because even if we didn’t go too fast, it is still a big effort.”Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines