Rothschild : Saffron Beach is rock solid

3 August 2022

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Tuesday, August 2, 2022, Deauville-Touques Racecourse (Calvados). – The 93rd edition of the Prix Rothschild (Gr1), a feminine version of the Jacques le Marois, went to the English 4-year-old mare Saffron Beach (New Bay), who beat a younger Tenebrism (Caravaggio), a recent winner of the Haras d'Étreham Prix Jean Prat (Gr1) on the same track, but over 7 furlongs only. It seems that this longer distance made the difference because it was in the last furlong that the 3-year-old filly trained by Aidan O'Brien let go, keeping only one head for second place over the very good finisher Goldistyle (Dubawi).

The study of the sectional timing is also quite confusing. The daughter of Goldikova looked like the fastest in the last furlong, which she ran in 11''55, but it was only the second time on this section behind... Saffron Beach in 11''54! The three pursuers, with the fourth-placed Malavath (Mehmas), who had the ideal trip and every chance one out, were the fastest from 600 to 200, but they could not sustain their effort afterwards, while Saffron Beach did not give in.

The recent Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Gr2) winner at Royal Ascot, Saffron Beach was the favourite at 3/5 in this race. Winner of a Group 3 at 2, second of the One Thousand Guineas then before failing in the Oaks, she won for the first time at the top level in the autumn of her 3-year-old season in the Sun Chariot Stakes (Gr1). Fourth this winter at Meydan, she had just returned to Ascot and has a lot to look forward to this season.

Bred by the China Horse Club, sold for £55,000 as a weanling at Tattersalls, three times later withdrawn from the sales, Saffron Beach is the second foal out of Falling Petals (Raven's Pass), who won one race out of three outings. Another filly by Australia was sold for £450,000 at last October's sales in Tattersalls. We thus find Eternal Reve (Diesis), the third dam of Saffron Beach, then raced by Sheikh Mohammed under the training of François Boutin, who took second place in the Coronation Stakes (Gr1) behind her stablemate Kissing Cousin, trained by Henry Cecil.