Pénélope: Agave in full bloom

3 April 2022

Agave et Olivier Peslier s'imposent à l'arrivée du Prix Pénélope (Gr3) 2022 sur l'hippodrome de Saint-Cloud.

Photo scoopdyga.com

Saturday, April 2, 2022, Saint-Cloud Racecourse (Hauts-de-Seine). - The odds-on favourite Agave (Dubawi), now unbeaten in three races, won convincingly by three parts of a length in the Prix Pénélope (Gr3), one of the first prep races for the Prix de Diane Longines (French Oaks, Gr1), in two and a half months. Homebred in Britain by the late Khalid Abdullah, the winner is the 9th winner in this contest trained by André Fabre, just a year after her stablemate Philomène, who went on to finish an unlucky 2nd in the French Oaks.

Ridden by Olivier Peslier, Agave travelled second last in this 7-runners field and made her move entering the last straight as she loomed outside the pack led by Welcome Sight (Aclaim) to sustain a long, irrepressible effort. She gave the feeling that the race was hers all the way as around her, the heat was on for the placings, Queen Trezy (Almanzor), more patient early in the race, went to snatch second place by a head over a resolute Anne de Clèves (Wootton Bassett), who never gave in. She’s Cosmic (Sea The Stars) and Allada (Sea the Moon), however, seemed to fade a bit after an early rush forward. They had to settle for 4th and 5th places respectively, over a length behind the leading trio.

Winner first time out at Longchamp over the mile in September, Agave also won for her return, by three lengths in the Prix Rose de Mai (L) over 1m2f, as the well-exposed Anne de Clèves, a dual handicap winner last Winter, had finished 3rd about three lengths behind.

Agave is the second foal out of Contribution (Champs Elysees), who started her career at 3 over 1m4f and more and bloomed at 4 to finish 3rd in the Shadwell Prix de Pomone (Gr2), over 2,500 metres, for example. Her first foal, Destinado (Lope de Vega), now 4, didn’t fare that well and finished almost last in his 4 last outings in Britain after being bought for £30,000 at Tattersalls in July 2021.

As for Contribution, she’s a sister to the great Enable! According to Tattersalls’s catalogue, she’s got a Golden Horn filly born in 2020 and a Study of Man colt born in 2021.