Précieuse wins the Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Pouliches

The French filly Précieuse created a surprise by winning the Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Group 1), first race of the EpiqE Series, Saturday at Deauville. Ridden by the crack jockey Olivier Peslier and carrying the colours of Anne-Marie Hayes, also breeder of the filly, Précieuse offered a first Group 1 success to her trainer from Chantilly, Fabrice Chappet.

Précieuse came along the stands to impose herself clearly in front of the British Sea of Grace, associated to Christophe Soumillon, who cantered on the other side of the track. Heuristique completes the podium, in front of Wajnah.

Précieuse was discovering the mile (1,600 metres) after having started her career on the sprint. She had just finished second of the Prix Sigy (Group 3), over the 1,200-meter straight line of Chantilly. Her connections were attempting a bold strategy entering her for the first time over 1,600 metres and the filly answered perfectly to their expectations.

Fabrice Chappet

Trainer of Précieuse (1st)

“There were a few questions for the distance but as the owner says, nothing beats speed. I was confident on the fact that she would run well and she had worked like a filly that would hold the distance. We have to congratulate José, her rider in the morning. I am lucky to have horses that are well-born in my stables, so I have good material to work with. She is the first filly I train for these owners. Her owners were a bit shy and they did not enter her at Royal Ascot. Deauville this summer is still an option.”

Olivier Peslier

Jockey of Précieuse (1st)

“It is great to win this race at Deauville! She was not that precious, she was actually very tough. It is the first time she was racing on this distance. I was scared she would pull a little but she did it well.”

Brendan Hayes

Owner and breeder of Précieuse (1st)

“It is absolutely fantastic for us. We are breeders and Précieuse comes from a family that we have been developing since her grand-mother… So, she is the result of a long work. She has a lot of speed. What is important for a horse is speed, whether he is a stayer or a sprinter. We thought she would hold the distance because there are stayers in her family. I am a big fan of Tamayuz [Précieuse’s sire, ndlr]. He is a good stallion but had a limited number of mares, which is not easy. We sent him four mares this year, including Précieuse’s dam. We have known Fabrice Chappet for a long time because we had horses with Robert Collet and Fabrice was his assistant. But Précieuse is the first filly we sent to him.”

William Haggas   

Trainer of Sea of Grace (2nd)

“She has progressed a lot since her return race at Newmarket. On that day, she was a little nervous and wanted to canter. I preferred racing her in France rather than in the 1,000 Guineas and we were very close to success. I was hoping for it for a while but Précieuse showed a better turn of foot. She liked the ground and the track. If everything goes well, she should start in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.”

Steve Burggraf

Owner of Heuristique (3rd)

“I am celebrating this third place with my wife just like it was a success! We only started having horses three years ago. It is an amazing story, a man’s story, with Laurent Benoît and Francis-Henri Graffard. It was not easy at first, but I am manager of a company and I know that life is made of highs and lows. We started low and now, we are getting high.”

Francis-Henri Graffard

Trainer of Heuristique (3rd)

“We are very pleased of this performance. She was running for the second time this year. It was a real challenge, and by finishing third, she shows really good quality. She is very dependent of the ground conditions. We might step up in trip. But first we will savour and see how she comes back to take a decision on the rest of her program.”