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Alpha Centauri puts the boys in their place

12 Aug 2018

Brilliant filly chalks up her fourth Group 1 success of memorable campaign with Prix Jacques le Marois masterclass

The imposing Alpha Centauri after her decisive win at Deauville. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Alpha Centauri secured her fourth Group 1 success of the campaign with an emphatic victory in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.

The Jessica Harrington-trained filly travelled to France on the back of successive victories in the QIPCO British Champions Series – in the Coronation Stakes and Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes – having begun her sequence with a win in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Sent off at 10-11 favourite, her supporters will have had few anxious moments.

Colm O’Donoghue positioned Alpha Centauri on the heels of With You near the stands’ rail before angling out and allowing his mount to stretch out inside the final half-mile.

Once again the response was superb as the Irish challenger found another gear to leave her rivals trailing in her wake. She won by two and a half lengths from Recoletos, with another three and a half lengths back to With You in third.

Queen Anne Stakes victor Accidental Agent beat only one home in the 11-runner line-up..

Harrington said: “She’s an amazing filly. I must admit, bringing her here to take on colts and older horses, I thought I must be mad. But then again, I felt we might as well keep her going and it was a fantastic performance.

“Three furlongs down she decided it was time to go, which was longer from the finish than I’d hoped, but I could see on the screen that she had the group on the far side behind her and once given her head, she just kept going away from them.”

Harrington added that future options include two more Champions Series races – the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 6 and QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day a fortnight later.

“She’s given me a few sleepless nights, I have to admit that, but it’s not quite like training Moscow Flyer as there are no fences to worry about!,” she added. “I really want to see how she is before making a definite plan and she will be back home in her stable tonight.”

Charlie Bishop, rider of Accidental Agent, felt something may have been amiss, adding: “He was never going at any stage. That isn’t his true form.”