Aidan O’Brien’s Blackbeard got the better of Persian Force to win an all British and Irish-trained running of the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville.
The No Nay Never colt was the Ballydoyle number one following his victory in the Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly last month and added another big prize to his ever-growing CV.
The 270,000 guineas buy was away well in the six-furlong Group One and set the pace alongside Amy Murphy’s Manhattan Jungle in the early stages, as the five runners headed down the Normandy straight in two lines.
Image: Shartash ridden by jockey Ben Coen (left) wins the Gain Railway Stakes with Blackbeard ridden by jockey Ryan Moore
As the race developed Frankie Dettori – who replaced Rossa Ryan after the latter was suspended by Amo Racing – appeared to be travelling smoothly on Richard Hannon’s Persian Force and was soon disputing matters with Blackbeard at the head of affairs.
The pair drew clear of O’Brien’s other runner, The Antarctic, inside the final furlong, but it was the mount of Ryan Moore who pulled out extra when it mattered most to pick up the first prize.
The victory provided O’Brien with his fourth win in the two-year-old contest and his first since 2001, while he also took home the third-placed prize through The Antarctic.
In the aftermath Coral shortened the winner – like Group One-winning stablemate Little Big Bear a son of No Nay Never – to 16-1 from 25-1 for next year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas.
Before that though, further Group races will be on the agenda for the speedy youngster, who has secured a guaranteed start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – a series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions at Keeneland in November.
“We’re very happy with him. He always feels like he has a little bit more, but he (Moore) was delighted with him. He’s a proper fast, early, mature two-year-old – he jumps and takes loads of racing,” said O’Brien.
Image: Rossa Ryan guides Persian Force home in the July Stakes
“Blackbeard’s obviously very speed orientated, he might get further but he has a lot of speed. He would have the option to come back (to France) for the Group One (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day) or the Middle Park (at Newmarket), so I think all those races are options for him.”
The Breeders’ Cup could also come under consideration for the runner-up, with Hannon saying: “Persian ran a super race. We might have a look at the Prix de l’Abbaye or the Middle Park. He is a very good horse.
“If not, the Breeders’ Cup – he will run extremely well in that.”
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