QATAR PRIX MARCEL BOUSSAC - CRITÉRIUM DES POULICHES (GROUP 1)
The first Group 1 of the day on the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe card went to a French trained runner thanks to Zellie's success in the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac. She was ridden by the British-based Oisin Murphy. Zellie is trained at Chantilly by André Fabre, one of France's most successful trainers, whose only previous win in this Group 1 race came via Miss Tahiti, in 1995. Zellie, having bided her time at the back of the field, produced a remarkable burst at the open stretch (450m) , to nail the spoils at the main expense of Times Square, carrying the hopes of trainer Christophe Ferland (based at La Teste), and the British-trained Oscula.
Zellie began her career in the colours of Lavinia Fabre, the daughter of André Fabre, before being sold to Qatari national Ali Hamad Al Attiya (Al Wasmiyah Farm).
Oisin Murphy (the jockey of Zellie (1st)
« She prefers the good ground, but has enough class to cope with this ground on the day. She is trained by an extraordinary man. Thank you very much to the owners, and to Mr Fabre, for the confidence placed in me. A beautiful, easy to ride filly, she has a big heart. She is a dream ride for a jockey! After my fall last Thursday, I needed to get my confidence back, but the day has started well! »
Ali Hamad Al Attiya (the owner of Zellie (1st)
« We loved the riding of Oisin Murphy. He produced the filly with a very strong run from the back of the field. The ground was not a problem. I think she can win on any ground. »
Paul Basquin (the racing manager of the winner Zellie (1st)
« We bought her when she was already in-training with André Fabre. She is by a great stallion, and the dam is by Nathaniel, so she is certainly not just precocious. She certainly advertised her talents following her wins at Saint-Cloud. Our objective has always been this race, the Prix Marcel Boussac. She will now be roughed until next season year. »
Christophe Ferland (the trainer of Times Square, 2nd)
« It's a crazy thing! As we get up every morning to train these horses! The filly ran remarkably well. Times Square is very temperamental, but my team has done an incredible job with her in the morning. Ten days ago, she worked remarkably well. If the betting was anything to go by, nobody believed in her, but I had total confidence in my filly. So we were right to believe in her. We certainly have a good filly for next year. »
Ryan Moore (the jockey d’Oscula, 3rd)
« Oscula ran really well. She produced a great finish and confirming her quality. »