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France: Anabaa Blue lives up to reputation.

Byline: Desmond Stoneham

Anabaa Blue produced an outstanding performance to win the Group 2 Prix Noailles on ground better suited to jump racing at Longchamp yesterday, writes Desmond Stoneham.

Christophe Soumillon rode a confident race on Anabaa Blue, who bowled along in front after breaking smartly.

The 1.6-1 favourite was given a breather before the straight but soon had the race wrapped up when asked to quicken again. He crossed the line six lengths clear of Gris de Fer.

Mick Channon's Worthily, ridden by John Reid, plugged on to finish third, another two lengths behind.

The other British challenger, the Eoghan O'Neill-trained Mujalina, was fifth.

Anabaa Blue is trained by the Argentinian Carlos Lerner at Maisons-Laffitte.

Lerner hit the headlines last year with Volvoreta, who won the Prix Vermeille and finished second in the Prix de Diane and third in the Arc de Triomphe.

The trainer said: "We've always thought a lot of Anabaa Blue and now he's proved himself to be one of the best in France. The main target is the Jockey-Club.

"He has taken time to come to himself and has done well during the winter. I think he will be just as good on better ground."

Soumillon was equally impressed, saying: "I didn't want to fight with him after the start, so we settled in the lead. Once he changed legs in the straight, he accelerated well."

Lack of a previous outing this year and the exceptional ground took its toll on Worthily in the straight.

Reid said: "The going was very, very soft. Worthily ran nicely enough and will come on a lot for the outing."

Keltos earned a tilt at the French 2,000 Guineas when winning the Class B Prix du Vert Galant by ten lengths.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 9, 2001
Words:294
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