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Sendawar puts on super show; Aljabr fails to read the script for aMoulin thriller.

THE race billed as Europe's mile championship yesterday produced an outstanding winner when Sendawar delivered another flawless performance in the Emirates Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, writes Desmond Stoneham.

But the big disappointment was Godolphin's Sussex Stakes winner Aljabr, who led for a few strides in the closing stages under Frankie Dettori before fading quickly into fourth place, beaten nearly four lengths.

However, Sendawar was a worthy winner as he added to his victories in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) and St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

And not only did the Aga Khan's colt win his third Group 1 race in style, he also broke the record time for the race.

Sendawar, who may stay in training as a four-year-old, earned some glowing tributes for his talent and temperament from both jockey and trainer.

Winning rider G/rald Moss/ said: "We know he's very good. He must be, as he won this in a few strides."

Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupr/ commented: "He's such a marvellously calm horse that he actually lay down in his box and slept on his way to the races. He'll go to Ascot for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes provided the ground is not heavy or sticky."

Sendawar, a heavily backed 4-5 favourite, was ridden with great confidence by Moss/.

Extracted to challenge for the lead halfway up the straight, he cut down Aljabr and then Dansili before easily holding the late challenge of Gold Away by a length and a half without coming under severe pressure.

A head behind Gold Away in third was Dansili, with Aljabr just staying on for fourth.

In winning the Moulin, Sendawar was following in the footsteps of his sire Priolo, now standing at the Irish National Stud, who took the race in 1991.

For their part, the winning team of Moss/, the Aga Khan and

Royer-Dupr/ had won the Moulin three years ago with Ashkalani.

The race was run at a blistering pace from the start, with Fly To The Stars and Sabrinsky covering the ground as fast as sprinters.

Sendawar was fifth into the straight and was still a little boxed in at the two-furlong marker, but Mosse bided his time as Aljabr and Dansili battled away in front.

Once Mosse asked Sendawar for his

effort he accelerated like the top-class horse he is. The time of 1 min 35.20 sec was 7/10ths of a second outside the record set by Victory Cry in last year's Poulains.

Alec Head, who used to train for the Aga Khan, was quick to praise the winner, saying to the owner: "That was a fantastic race, and Sendawar's a hell of a horse."

But while joy reigned in the Sendawar camp, Saeed Bin Suroor was downcast over Aljabr, saying: "I was very disappointed. He ran OK but didn't really fire."

"He ran flat", were Frankie Dettori's first post-race words. "He did all right at first and we were going well until the straight, but then we went up and down.

"He should have been closer to Sendawar on Ascot running. We were beaten over three lengths today and only just over a length in the St James's Palace."

The Aga Khan, meanwhile, was hailing Sendawar a champion, saying: "He has confirmed his excellent spring form in the autumn. Some horses get lost trying to do the same thing. Sendawar must surely now be considered the best overall in Europe."

Royer-Dupre, winning his sixth Group 1 of the season, added: "Sendawar's getting better and better. I was very confident he would run well following a superb gallop at Chantilly after he returned from Deauville," while Mosse said: "I was never worried during the race and was always travelling easily. It was an excellent display, considering his lay-off."

However, when asked if Sendawar was the best he has sat on, Mosse replied: "No, I think that was Ashkalani, who has a

special place in my heart."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Stoneham, Desmond
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 6, 1999
Words:660
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