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Dubai: Supple doubles up on opening night.

Byline: Desmond Stoneham

BRITISH raiders failed to shine at Maisons-Laffitte yesterday as Centifolia emerged as a 1,000 Guineas candidate, writes Desmond Stoneham.

The Robert Collet-trained filly made virtually every yard of the running to win the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte from stablemate Salut Thomas. Prince Charming did best of the British contingent by taking fourth.

Collet took the Criterium last year with Whipper, who runs in today's Breeders' Cup Mile. Speaking from Texas, he said: 'She is a classy filly with plenty of speed. Centifolia will reappear in the Prix Imprudence and will be entered in the 1,000 Guineas and the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.'

Jockey Ioritz Mendizabal said: 'She is very fast and she may not stay much further than six furlongs.'

Robert Havlin, who rode the John Gosden-trained Prince Charming, said: 'He ran a very good race. We came to tackle the winner but she quickened again.'

The sticky ground was blamed for the below-par runs of Obe Gold (fifth) and Kay Two (eighth). Gimcrack Stakes winner Tony James finished last, and jockey Dominique Boeuf said: 'I think he might have a breathing problem. He ran like a tired horse.'

Striking Ambition finished ahead of his more fancied stablemate Patavellian in the Group 3 Prix de Seine-et-Oise, but neither of the visitors managed to catch 30-1 chance Miss Emma.

Winning trainer John Hammond said: 'She's strengthened during the autumn, had her ground and was well ridden. I believe she stays in training next year.'

Roger Charlton said: 'For some reason Patavellian missed the break and he was always strugglingin the very sticky ground, as was Striking Ambition.'
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 30, 2004
Words:272
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