Pomone History: A Vermeille at Deauville

20 August 2020

Pomone History: A Vermeille at Deauville

Photo scoopdyga.com

August, Deauville


Group 2, 3-year-old and up, 2,500m/12.5f, €90,000

Created in 1920


Last winner: Ebaiyra (f3, FRA by Distorted Humor ex Ebiyza, by Rock of Gibraltar), owned by l'Aga Khan, bred by l'Aga Khan, trained by Alain de Royer Dupré, ridden by Christophe Soumillon.

Racord-time: 2’38’’9, Lune d’Or (2004).

The race is run in 2021 for the 100th time

The 2020 edition

Sunday, August 23, 2020, Deauville. – This 99th edition of the Darley Prix de Pomone (Gr2) went to its favourite Ebaiyra (Distorted Humor), the only 3-year-old filly in the race to succeed Dame Malliot and the 60 fillies who had already dominated their elders in this female version of the Grand Prix de Deauville. The Aga Khan homebred remained pretty much in control despite an odd jump going off the bend to finally win by ¾ length, but safely, over the English raider Spirit of Appin (Champs Elysees), a length ahead of Grand Glory (Olympic Glory). Also well backed in the race, Spirit of Nelson (Mount Nelsonà) came by early in the homestretch but could not keep up until the end.

Ebaiyra had made quite an impression winning the Prix de Royaumont (Gr3) over 1m4f in June at Chantilly but she looked outpaced over 10.5 furlongs in the Prix de Diane Longines (Gr1). 

She's entered in the Prix de l’Opéra Longines (Gr1), the Qatar Prix de Royallieu (Gr1) and the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr1).

Her dam Ebiyza (Rock of Gibraltar) is a Qatar Prix de Royallieu (Gr2) winner and also dam of Edisa (Kitten’s Joy), herself a Prix du Conseil de Paris (Gr2) second, and of a More than Ready 2-year-old filly in training with Alain de Royer Dupré, and of a yearling filly by Medaglia d’Oro.



The name of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards, has often been made use of by racing bodies to name their events.

Like the other races at the Deauville meeting, the Prix de Pomone was billed as an "international" event on its creation in 1920. The aim was to encourage the participation of British competitors, whose owners were greatly taken with the Normandy spa town where they appreciated the races, the casino and the hotels on offer. It is worth remembering that, up until 1946, French races were partly reserved for horses “born and bred in France". This protectionism would only loosen its grip gradually, with a 20% proportion of foreign horses being permitted in 1914, 30% in 1920 and 60% in 1939, before all such restrictions were lifted in 1947.

Like the Prix d'Astarté created nine years later, the Prix de Pomone was designed as a way for fillies to avoid facing their male counterparts in the Grand Prix de Deauville. But in this case, it was an event run not over a mile like the Astarté (now Rothschild) but a mile 4 ½ furlongs, a distance close to that currently used in the aforementioned Grand Prix.

The distance of the Prix de Pomone has not varied a great deal. 1 mile 4 furlongs from its origin until 1962, it was raised to 1 mile 5 furlongs from 1963 to 1972, then to 1 mile 5 ½ furlongs from 1973 to 2003. In 2004, it was reduced to 1 mile 4 ½ furlongs. Like the Prix d'Astarté, the Prix de Pomone is strongly linked to Deauville Racecourse, which it has left only during the Second World War, having been cancelled in 1940 and 1944 and switched to Maisons-Laffitte in 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1945.
Classed as Group 3 when pattern races were originally created in 1971, the Prix de Pomone was promoted to Group 2 status in 1983.

Only 3 fillies have managed 2 wins in the Prix de Pomone: Zalataia (1982, 1983), Bright Moon (1993, 1994) and La Pomme d’Amour (2012, 2013), all trained by André Fabre.

The 100 winners of the Prix de Pomone (there has been one dead heat) break down age-wise as follows: sixty-one 3 year-olds, thirty-two 4 year-olds and seven 5 year-olds.

The Prix de Pomone honours list features the names of numerous fillies renowned for their achievements on the track or at stud. These include: in 1924 Quoi (Prix de Diane), in 1931 Confidence (Grand Prix de Deauville), in 1933 Queen of Scots (Grand Prix de Deauville), in 1934 Sa Parade (2nd, Poule d'Essai), in 1937 Cousine (2nd, Arc de Triomphe), in 1943 Folle Nuit (Prix Vermeille), in 1952 La Mirambule (Prix Vermeille, 2nd, Arc de Triomphe), in 1956 Ad Altiora (dam of Altissima), in 1961 Lezghinka (Prix Vermeille), in 1963 Monade (Oaks, 2nd, Arc de Triomphe), in 1966 Bergame (2nd, Prix de Diane), in 1969 Roselière (Prix de Diane and Vermeille), in 1970 Santa Tina (Irish Oaks), in 1973 Lady Berry (Prix Royal Oak), in 1980 Gold River (Arc de Triomphe), in 1981 April Run (Prix Vermeille, Washington D. C. International), in 1982 and 1983 Zalataia (Grand Prix de Deauville), in 1992 Magic Night (Prix Vermeille, 2nd, Arc de Triomphe), in 1993 and 1994 Bright Moon (mother of Bright Sky), in 1998 Leggera (Prix Vermeille, 2nd, Arc de Triomphe), in 2003 Vallée Enchantée (Hong Kong Vase).

Foreign winners

The colours of Queen Elizabeth of England were victorious in 2000 with Interlude, trained by Michael Stoute. Interlude is one of 7 foreign-trained fillies to have triumphed in the Prix de Pomone over the last 30 years. Three others have come from England, Patricia (1991, trained by Henry Cecil), Whitewater Affair (1997, trained by Michael Stoute) and Leggera (1998, trained by John Dunlop), while the sixth and the seventh, Abitara (2001) and Star Lahib (2014), were both trained by Andreas Wöhler in Germany.



  • Guy de Rothschild (6 wins): Agace (1955), Louvette (1958), Marella (1960), Isoline (1965), Skelda (1971), Lady Berry (1973).
  • Marcel Boussac (4 wins): Bellecour (1928), Pallas (1941), Damaka (1953), Caralina (1954).
  • Maurice Hennessy (4 wins): Phydilé (1948), Arentelle (1951), La Mirambule (1952), La Malaguena (1957).
  • Famille Wildenstein (4 wins): Bright Moon (1993, 1994) for Daniel, Vallée Enchantée (2003), Peinture Rare (2010) for Wildenstein Family.
  • Mohammed Al Maktoum & Godolphin (4 wins): Colorado Dancer (1989), Whitehaven (1990), Helen of Spain (1996), Kitesurf (2018).
  • Edouard de Rothschild (3 wins): Honeysuckle (1922), La Mie au Gué (1929), Marylebone (1930).


  • André Fabre (14 wins): Zalataia (1982, 1983), Galla Placidia (1985), Colorado Dancer (1989), Whitehaven (1990), Bright Moon (1993, 1994), Helen of Spain (1996), Bernimixa (2002), Diamond Tango (2005), Macleya (2007), La Pomme d’Amour (2012, 2013), Kitesurf (2018).
  • Geoffroy Watson (6 wins): Agace (1955), Louvette (1958), Marella (1960), Isoline (1965), Skelda (1971), Lady Berry (1973).
  • William Head (5 wins): Phydilé (1948), Blue Kiss (1950), Arentelle (1951), La Mirambule (1952), La Malaguena (1957).
  • John Cunnington Sr. (3 wins): Miquette (1926), Miss Trolla (1949), Psychose (1962).
  • François Boutin (3 wins): Sweet Rhapsody (1976, dead-heat), April Run (1981), Light the Lights (1988).


  • Freddy Head (6 wins): Moquerie (1976, dead-heat), Gold River (1980), Zalataia (1982, 1983), Marie de Litz (1984), Light the Lights (1988).
  • Thierry Jarnet (6 wins): Bright Moon (1993, 1994), Helen of Spain (1996), Interlude (2000), Abitara (2001), Lune d’Or (2004).
  • Christophe Soumillon (4 wins): Diamond Tango (2005), Sarah Lynx (2011), Baino Hope (2015), Ebaiyra (2020).
  • Walter Sibbritt (3 wins): Bellecour (1928), Queen of Scots (1933), Queen (1938).
  • Fernand Rochetti (3 wins): Phydilé (1948), Miss Trolla (1949), Blue Kiss (1950),
  • Yves Saint-Martin (3 wins): Frisca (1964), Bergame (1966), Proud Event (1977).