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Rosanara workmanlike as Soumillon completes return.

Byline: Desmond Stoneham

Result Total Prix Marcel Boussac 1 Rosanara ................2-1f 2 On Verra ................33-1 3 Joanna ..................14-1 Owner Aga Khan Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre Jockey Christophe Soumillon Breeder Aga Khan Distances 2l, nse THERE were echoes of Zarkava as odds-on favourite Rosanara landed the Total Prix Marcel Boussac for the Aga Khan, trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre and jockey Christophe Soumillon.

But although the human participants were the same, there were no glowing comparisons with her illustrious predecessor as Rosanara ran out a workmanlike winner.

Rosanara was not as spectacular as Zarkava, but she ran on well inside the final furlong to beat the outsider On Verra by two lengths. Prix du Calvados winner Joanna finished third, ahead of the highly rated Wedding March. Eoghan O'Neill's Green Dandy came fifth, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Cabaret a tailed-off last.

The result was yet another blow for Christophe Lemaire, who was missing out on another win on Arc weekend, but it marked a major achievement for Soumillon, who returned to the saddle only on Saturday after breaking his elbow at the beginning of last month.

A daughter of 2000 Arc de Triomphe winner Sinndar, Rosanara is now unbeaten in two races. She was given a quote of 12-1 for the Stanjames.com 1,000 Guineas by the sponsors, although William Hill and Totesport were more impressed, going 7-1 and 8-1 respectively. However, she is more likely to follow the Zarkava route and run in the French Classics.

Royer-Dupre said: "I was very happy with her performance - she still isn't completely at her best and is sure to improve further. She is not as physically imposing as Zarkava and it's difficult to compare the two fillies.

"Rosanara will certainly do better and the target is next year's Poule d'Essai des Pouliches. I think she will stay ten furlongs but not a mile and a half."

Soumillon has not been retained by the Aga Khan for 2010, when Lemaire takes over - provided he is not needed by the Niarchos family.

However, Soumillon will be wearing the green and red colours - which enjoyed another sensational day yesterday - until the end of the season and the winning owner said: "I was very happy with the way the filly was ridden. Rosanara is the result of the introduction of Lagardere blood into my breeding operation."

Soumillon, talking after he had received his winner's trophy from film star Alain Delon, said: "We stumbled coming out of the stalls rather like Zarkava did in the Arc last year. This filly has less speed and Zarkava would have won this event by ten lengths. Rosanara needs more time."

Runner-up On Verra was putting in her best work at the finish. Her trainer, Francois Doumen, said: "I am very happy, as most people thought she hadn't shown much before, but she's a very good filly with excellent acceleration."

CAPTION(S):

Rosanara (Christophe Soumillon) retains her unbeaten record when landing the Prix Marcel Boussac
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 5, 2009
Words:492
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