Warm Heart’s brilliant season continued as she landed the Qatar Prix Vermeille at ParisLongchamp for Aidan O’Brien.
The Galileo filly came into the Group One off the back of a Yorkshire Oaks success on the Knavesmire in late August, a race that was her first under rider James Doyle.
Prior to that she was fifth in the Irish Oaks, but her year has included plenty of winning as she took both the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury.
Her trip to Paris was also a success as she reunited with Doyle and was given a fine ride, finding plenty when pressed to defeat Francis-Henri Graffard’s Melo Melo by a neck at 11/4.
Doyle told Sky Sports Racing: “It was a bit trickier than I’d hoped. As she jumped, she slipped and lost her action for three strides so she did well to pop back up and find her feet.
“We had to then sit and suffer for most of the race and I was very concerned.
“She was very brave to get out of the pocket but once we got out she was very tough and pricked her ears for the cameras!”
Asked about the Arc, for which she will need a supplementary entry, Doyle said: “It’s hard to imagine a quick ground Arc and those conditions are key to her as she’s a light-action filly.”
Place Du Carrousel confirmed she has the stamina for an Arc test, holding off got favourite Iresine to win the Group Two Prix Foy.
Last year’s Prix de l’Opera winner was cut from 50/1 to 33/1 for the big one back at ParisLongchamp next month.
Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, racing manager to owners Al Shaqab in France, told Sky Sports Racing: “It all fell into place today and Iresine is a tough horse to beat.
“We all know how much Andre loves the race in the three weeks’ time so it’s just nice to have this fill in this spot and hopefully we can go for the big one. All being well, that’s where she’ll run.”
Coeur De Pierre was third in the Abbaye last season and potentially set up another shot at the Group One sprint with victory in the Prix du Petit Couvert, seeing off Ponntos is a terrific battle. He was introduced at 12/1 for the Abbaye by Coral, while Ponntos is a general 20/1.
Winning jockey Tony Piccone told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s a very special horse and I’m very happy with him today.
“I think the Abbaye will be the target now and we’ll hope for some rain.”