Senga wins the Prix de Diane LONGINES from Sistercharlie and Terrakova
Image supplied by France Galop; Copyright ScoopDyga

Senga won a typically rough-house race for the Group 1 Prix de Diane LONGINES at Chantilly in which just fourteen of the sixteen starters completed this afternoon.

On a blisteringly hot afternoon, a field of sixteen fillies went to post for the fourth French Classic of the year.

As the field were dispatched it was Haya Of Fortune who led from Kitesurf and Rhododendron through the early stages.

Haya Of Fortune continued to lead from Monroe Bay towards the inside.

Normandie pressed on from Haya Of Fortune while sadly Rhododendron was pulled up and dismounted by Ryan Moore approaching the home straight and it was later reported that the dual Classic runner-up had bled.

Into the straight Normandie still led from Haya Of Fortune, with Monroe Bay on their heels, while Vue Fantastique jinked and Onthemoonagain stumbled and fell inside the final quarter of a mile, giving Christophe Soumillon a nasty fall. Thanksfully he and the filly were reported OK.

Normandie saw off the challenge of Haya Of Fortune, but out wide Shutterspeed and Senga both came with storming runs and swept through.

However this was a race of changing fortunes and as Senga went forward for Stephane Pasquier, Shutter Speed was only able to continue at the one pace, her suspect stamina fully examined here – and was passed by Terrakova and the fast finishing Sistercharlie.

At the line though Senga was a comfortable winner by about a length with Sistercharlie just claiming second place from Terrakova, with Shutter Speed a close fourth.

The Pascal Bary trained Senga, a daughter of Blame, had won the Prix de la Grotte in the spring before disappointing in the French 1,000 Guineas at Deauville.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for successful owners Flaxman Stables, told Press Association Sport: “We’re absolutely thrilled with her performance.

“We were expecting a good run, if she stayed. She obviously enjoyed the extra ground and won well.

“She only ran two weeks ago and has had a busy year so far, so she’s going to have a rest now.

“We’ll see when she comes back whether we step her up in trip or come back down.”

It was a closely-run thing for second, with Sistercharlie narrowly getting the better of Terrakova.

There was further drama earlier in the race as Christophe Soumillon was unseated from Onthemoonagain.

The Belgian-born rider was stood down for the remainder of the day after he suffered a suspected shoulder injury.

Bary said of the winner: “She is a fantastic filly, from a fantastic breeding operation.

“We definitely ran her over too short a distance before.

“Her connections trusted me to let her run in this race, despite having run only two weeks ago.

“She had a good run, in a race with consistent pace, and showed a superb turn of foot.”

Gosden was really happy with Shutter Speed.

He said: “She delivered a superb performance, and there are no excuses.

“She jumped from a wide draw as well as she could. I thought that Frankie Dettori rode her very well.

“At one point she looked like she was coming to win.”

Henri-Alex Pantall was left to rue a turbulent dash to the line for runner-up Sistercharlie.

He said: “She didn’t have a clear run, neither in the turn nor the straight, where she had to wind he way through.

“It’s a shame when you see the way she finished, but that’s racing.”

The beautifully-bred Terrakova is now poised for a rise in distance after she caught the eye in third place.

Trainer Freddy Head said: “She put up a great performance as she had been caught flat-footed when the rest of the field kicked.

“She got a few bumps, so she couldn’t follow them when they jumped and so couldn’t get near the pace.

“Despite that, she ran well. It’s only her third start, and it’s promising. She should step up in trip to a mile and a half.”