Persian King rules in Prix du Moulin as Pinatubo arrives too late

Persian King wins Autumn Stakes

Persian King returned to his glorious best to record a third Group 1 success by landing the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp.

Persian King reclaims the throne

Bouncing back to his superlative best, Persian King was a classy winner of the Group 1 Prix du Moulin. It was a race of contrasting fortunes for many, with several high-profile horses under-performing on the big stage.

In a race that turned very tactical, Circus Maximus was able to dictate his own fractions out in front. He was stalked throughout by Persian King, who quickened up smartly under Pierre-Charles Boudot and never looked in danger once striking the lead.

Pinatubo took a very long time to get going under James Doyle. Sat out at the back, the slower pace didn’t suit as he roared home when the race was all over. It did, however, seem to prove that Charlie Appleby’s charge does stay the mile out strongly.

Siskin was a huge disappointment for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane. He looked to be travelling comfortably heading into the final 400 metres but he found little for pressure and was once-paced in the closing stages. He was passed late by Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Victor Ludorum, who was below form on his return to the mile.

Romanised never landed a blow for Ken Condon, always towards the rear and ultimately finishing last of the six.

Hard luck story?

It was a race of what could have been for Pinatubo and his supporters. He charged home after a patient early ride from Doyle, who was two lengths too late in the end. Explaining the decision, Doyle said: “I followed Siskin and he elected to give the front two a bit of a gap and he’s a horse that, when you do pull him into space, he lights up so we just had to sit and suffer.

Much of the credit must go to Boudot, however, who rode a tactical masterclass aboard Persian King. The race was won at the 500-metre pole, where Boudot took on Circus Maximus and went for home. He gained a break on the closers at that stage and his lead was always going to be unassailable.

Pinatubo is now a general 8/1 chance for the Queen Elizabeth II on Champion’s Day at Royal Ascot. Siskin’s price remains around the 14/1 mark, though his French performance was a backward step for the well-thought of Irish challenger.

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