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Diktat in command; Godolphin colt gains Group 1 win in Gheest.

DIKTAT gained his first Group 1 win with a comfortable success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville yesterday, writes Desmond Stoneham.

The Godolphin colt took command in the closing stages of a strongly run contest to score by a length from Criquette Head's Gold Away, with the John Gosden-trained Bertolini a further half-length away in third.

Special Discount, Gold Away's pacemaker, set a searching early gallop in the six-and-a-half-furlong contest, which was run on very soft ground, and held the advantage until two furlongs out, when Gary Stevens brought Bertolini to take over.

Bertolini looked to have the race sewn up at that point, but Dettori had yet to make a move on Diktat, who responded gamely to strong riding and won with a little in hand.

The son of Warning has now won all his three races this season. He was giving Godolphin their 10th Group 1 success of the year and Frankie Dettori the 199th Pattern win of his career.

The Italian duly obliged with a flying dismount from Diktat, who was 4-5 favourite (coupled with Bertolini) on the Pari-Mutuel.

Saeed Bin Suroor, Diktat's trainer, was delighted, saying: "He's got a very good turn of foot. Diktat had never run on this sort of ground before, so we can now assume he acts on all surfaces. I was very happy with him before the race and the colt is improving all the time.

"This looked the perfect distance for him and our target now is the Prix de la Foret. I don't know yet whether he'll have a further outing before."

Dettori added: "They went a very strong pace early on and I knew they couldn't keep it up till the finish. It was easy for me once I picked him up."

Gold Away ran a fine race, considering he had not been out since finishing third to Croco Rouge and El Condor Pasa in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan over an extended nine furlongs in May. He was putting in his best work in the closing stages.

Head said: "He ran a tremendous race and I couldn't have hoped for better. He will now be spot-on for the Moulin."

Olivier Doleuze, Gold Away's rider, added: "I was pushing all the race. Things opened out well for us and he responded gamely. We were beaten by a very

good horse."

Stevens rode a strong finish on the game Bertolini but was fined Ff1,000 (pounds 100) for excessive use of the whip.

The American said: "I liked my chance two out. The race was just half a furlong too far. The ground was on the slow side and on a faster track we'd have got the job done."

John Dunlop's Vision Of Night came fourth under Pat Eddery, who said: "He gave me a lovely ride and is a very consistent and nice little horse who always runs true."

The other overseas challengers fared less well, with Brian Meehan's Tomba fifth after not quite going through with his challenge, Richard Hannon's Sampower Star seventh, and the Irish pair Bianconi and Orpen eighth and last of 10.

Olivier Peslier, who rode Orpen, had to resaddle last year's Prix Morny winner at the start. He said: "Orpen started well but only went 200 yards."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Stoneham, Desmond
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 9, 1999
Previous Article:Four-day ban threatens Peslier's rides at York.
Next Article:Racing channel launch.

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