Australia Filly Storms Home For Group 3 Prize
Elounda Queen (3f Australia - Ivirka, by Mastercraftsman) stayed on strongly to gain a first Stakes success in the Group 3 Prix du Lieurey at Deauville on Tuesday.
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained filly came into the race with three wins to her name and was most recently narrowly denied in a Listed race. Partnered by Cristian Demuro on Tuesday, she raced in last turning for home and came wide to challenge after the two furlong pole. The favourite and Listed-winning raider Mystic Pearl rallied inside the final furlong, but Elounda swept by them to lead by a head on the line.
“I was very disappointed when she lost by so little last time out, because I felt it was the right opportunity for her to be a black-type winner,” Rouget later said. “Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, as it is better to win this one. She was helped by the very fast pace and her turn of foot made the difference. We will see if she can go up in class, but she is ground-dependent, she needs it good or faster.”
Elounda Queen is owned by Serge Stempniak with JL Tepper, B Weill, Daniel-Yves Treves and Laurent Dassault. She provides her dam Ivirka (Mastercraftsman) with a perfect start at stud, which bodes well for two-year-old brother Great Chieftain (Gleneagles), who sold for €170,000 as a yearling. Bred by Scea Marmion Vauville and Skymarc Farm, she becomes a 20th individual Group winner by Australia, with five of those having triumphed at the highest level.