The French-trained Grand Glory won the Darley Prix Jean Romanet, which is the fifth and final Group 1 race of the Deauville Barrière meeting.
Defying odds of 23/1, she proved something of a surprise winner on what was her first success at the highest level, which was gained over the 2,000 metres course at the Normandy seaside resort. It marked the triumph of patience as she raced this landmark at the age of 5!
On good to soft ground, she beat the defending champion Audarya by a short head.
The Irish raider Thundering Nights was a length and a quarter further away in third.
Grand Glory enabled the trainer-jockey combination, Gianluca Bietolini and Cristian Demuro, to record a first victory in a race inaugurated in 2004. It also gifted Gianluca Bietolini his first French Gr 1 win: an Italian trainer who transferred to Maisons-Laffitte.
Grand Glory carries the colours of three US friends of Italian origin: Albert Frassetto, John d'Amato and Mike Pietrangelo. In 2019, Grand Glory finished third in the Prix de Diane Longines. She came into the race on the back of a clear cut victory in the Group 3 Grand Prix de Vichy in July.
Acquired at the Arqana sales in October 2017 at Deauville, Grand Glory was a notable filip for the Haras de Bourgeauville and the breeders, namely a Finnish concern, set up shop in Normandy: namely the Ehrnrooth-Lybeck family.
Olympic Glory, Grand Glory's sire, is based in France at the Haras de Bouquetot (as part of the Al Shaqab Racing stallion draft). It's something a double achievement for the Normandy breeding and for Arqana, as Audarya was also bred in France, having also gone through the ring at Deauville.
What connections said
Gianluca Bietolini (the trainer of Grand Glory, 1st)
«Coming here and win a Group 1 is a great dream come true! The mare really deserves it. Last year she was unlucky but, this year, things are going better! Cristian Demuro has ridden her to perfection. I knew that Grand Glory was very well within herself, and was sure that she would run well today. This was her day! She was already a prior dual Group 3 winner and Group 1 place-getter going into the race, and she owed us nothing. The next logical step is the Prix de l'Opéra (a Group 1 race run on the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe card). After this, she will be retired to the paddocks. I had already enjoyed six Group 1s successes in Italy, but this is my first French one. I can't believe it! She has won on the all-weather, on heavy ground, on good ground, and on very soft ground... She can do it all – as the good horses invariably can. She just needs plenty of pace so as to be able to harness her turn of foot. She is extraordinary! »
Cristian Demuro (the jockey of Grand Glory, 1st)
«I dedicate this victory to my father. I'm very happy because I felt that the mare was in good order. I don't know why, but I knew she would win today. I have a very good affinity with her. That worked in our favour because once Audarya had taken the lead, she idled a bit in front and I was able to rein her in. Grand Glory was in top form. At Vichy, she manged to get by all comers everyone and, for me, she rediscovered the level which she reached in the Prix de Diane Longines. »
James Fanshawe (the trainer of Audarya, 2nd)
« The last 100 metres seemed to take an eternity... But I'm very happy to see her bounce back after her Goodwood run. She's run a blinder! We will take each race as it comes but it is quite possible, if all goes to plan, that we will see tackle the Prix de l'Opera at ParisLongchamp, before heading to the US to defend her title in the Breeders' Cup. »
Shane Cross (the jockey de Thundering Nights, 3rd)
« She ran well. It was a solid effort. We’re delighted. We are beaten by two top class customers, including a Breeders' Cup winner. She is a good filly. She will win another Group 1 race at some point in the future. »
The technical result
DARLEY PRIX JEAN ROMANET
Group 1 – 3-y-olds and up fillies and mares - 2.000 metres (10f) - 250.000 €
1st GRAND GLORY (F5)
Olympic Glory & Madonna Lily
Jockey: C. Demuro
Trainer: G. Bietolini
Owners: A. Frassetto, J. d'Amato & M. Pietrangelo
Breeder : Élevage Haras de Bourgeauville
2nd AUDARYA (F5)
Wootton Bassett & Green Bananas
Jockey: I. Mendizabal
Trainer: J. Fanshawe
Owner: Mme A. M. Swinburn
Breeder: Haras d’Écouves
3rd THUNDERING NIGHTS (F4)
Night of Thunder & Cape Castle
Jockey: S. Crosse
Trainer: J. O’Brien
Owner: Shapoor Mistry
Breeder : Manjri Stud Farm Ltd
Dist : SHT HD - 1 1/4L - 3/4L. (8 ran). Time : 2’6’’99.