St Mark's Basilica Coolmore Saint-Alary History: Diane in Paris

12 May 2024

Saint-Alary History: Diane in Paris


May, ParisLongchamp


Group 2, 3-year-old Fillies, 2,000m/10f, €140,000

Created in 1960

Last winner: Birthe (f3, IRE by Study of Man ex Barakaat, by Lope de Vega), owned by Alain Jathière & Christine Guilbert, bred by Sabah Mubarak al Sabah, trained by Laura Vanska, ridden by Aurélien Lemaître.

Record-time: 2'00''8 by Queen’s Jewel (2015).

The race will be run in 2025 for the 65th time

L'édition 2024

Sunday, May 12, 2024, ParisLongchamp Racecourse (Paris) – This 64th edition of the €130,000 St. Mark’s Basilica Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Gr2) was the first to be contested under a Group 2 label, having lost its Group 1 status. Time will tell if the race can reclaim its former laurels. Still, its downgrade didn't deprive the Bois de Boulogne audience of a fine race, marked by a notable victory from Birthe (Study of Man), who brilliantly repeated her last success, achieved over the same 1m2f trip at Toulouse in the Prix de la Caravelle – Haras des Granges (L). It was also her first foray into this category and her 4th outing. Coming second to Paraiba, who secured a promising second place the day before this "Saint-Alary" at Chantilly, on her debut, ahead of Acqua Augusta, who also made a good return this month, Birthe then went on three weeks later to claim her first victory in a class 2 event, again on all-weather over 9.5f but at Chantilly.

Alain Jathière joined her initial owner, Christine Guilbert, and winter passed. Last March, the filly finished 3rd on her comeback, on the same course as her previous outing, behind Goa and Almara (Almanzor), whom she encountered again this time after a victorious detour through La Cépière, where she had thus discovered turf in competition and conquered her bold-type status.

This unconventional path did not convince the punters, who let her go off at 10/1 in this field of seven fillies, none of whom had prevailed dramatically enough to drag a significant weight into the betting.

She travelled on the 2nd row along the rail (thanks to her draw 2) behind the leaders, Almara and the English filly War Chimes (Summer Front). The former did not give way easily, but Birthe, after this ideal run with the open stretch to free her, went all out to win by more than a length, with Survie (Churchill) finishing well, 3rd from afar, a neck behind, and nearly two lengths ahead of the favourite, Dare to Dream (Camelot).

Lauréate du Prix Caravelle (L) à Toulouse dernièrement, l’outsider Birthe Study of Man) ⁦@lemaitre60LA⁩ vient à bout d’une courageuse Almara (Almanzor) dans le StMark’s Basilica #CoolmoreStud #HomeofChampions Saint-Alary (Gr2).

— France Galop (@francegalop) May 12, 2024

Birthe is trained by Laura Vanska, along with 8 other trainees at Chantilly, giving her her first "Group" win after giving her her first listed race.

The filly is out of Barakaat (Lope de Vega). She was knocked down for €10,000 at the Goffs sales in November 2022 to J D Moore. A year later, after a canter on the Deauville synthetic track last July, she was sold for €12,000 to Tina Rau and Laura Vanska at the Deauville July sales.

The dam, Barakaat, had raced for Hamdan Al Maktoum. She had achieved just one victory at Toulouse, like her daughter, who was her first foal, as she was also her dam's first foal. She herself cost €240,000 at Deauville to Shadwell as she descends from a strong family, that of Grise Mine, who won this Prix Saint-Alary for the Rothschilds, her breeders, in 1984. But before leading to Birthe, the lineage went to the United States via Kostroma, a triple Group 1 winner in the USA and Canada, and the filly's 4th dam.



First run in 1960, this race serves as a trial for the Prix de Diane. It owes its name to Evremond de Saint-Alary, who was an influential member of the Société d'Encouragement. Elected to the committee in 1920, he was a steward from 1931 to 1938.

The race has been run on the main Longchamp course since 1987. A foreigner has won this event just once: in 1987, Indian Skimmer trained in England by Henry Cecil. The race didn’t take place in 1968. It was run at Deauville in 2016 and 2017 during the renovation works at Longchamp. In 2020, it was run in Chantilly in June due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The race lost its Gr1 status in 2024 and has been moved to 5 weeks away from the Diane Longines instead of 4 weeks.

Evremond de Saint-Alary (1868-1941)

One of the great French breeders, he first tasted victory at the age of twenty-three at Maisons-Lafitte on 24 April 1891 courtesy of Boabdil, a horse he had bought in a claiming race. In 1893, he purchased Omnium II at Deauville yearling sales, which secured him seventeen wins, including the Prix du Jockey Club, the Prix Gladiateur and the Prix du Conseil Municipal twice. Evremond de Saint-Alary installed Omnium II at the Saint-Pair-du-Mont (Calvados) stud, which he had bought after the death of its founder, Léonce Delâtre. Unfortunately, this great champion died after just two years, but not before he had sired a pair of famous fillies, Kizil Kourgan (Prix de Diane, Grand Prix de Paris 1902) and Basse Terre, the dam of Basse Pointe (Prix du Conseil Municipal 1911) and Brûleur (Grand Prix de Paris 1913).

All of these horses bore the colours (yellow and maroon-striped jersey and cap) of 'Evremond de Saint-Alary, as did Comrade (bought by him in England), winner of the Grand Prix de Paris in 1920 and of the first-ever running of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Other products of Evremond de Saint-Alary’s stables shone between the wars: Ksar (Prix du Jockey Club and Arc de Triomphe twice, in 1921 and 1922), Kantar (Arc de Triomphe 1928) and Le Ksar (Two Thousand Guineas 1937), all three of whom were sold by him. But several horses which he kept also distinguished themselves during this period, such as Kandy (One Thousand Guineas 1932), Samos (Arc de Triomphe 1935) and Porphyros (Prix du Conseil Municipal 1940).

Before his death, Evremond de Saint-Alary bequeathed the Saint-Pair-du-Mont stud farm to Ms Frémont-Tousch. When she passed away, it was acquired by Mrs Jean Stern, whose husband already had some of his horses based there.

Foreign winners

Three times, the winner was trained in Britain with Indian Skimmer (1987), Sobetsu (2017) and Laurens (2018), once from Ireland with Above the Curve (2022).


Since 2006, Coolmore Stud has sponsored the race, usually associated with one of their sires. First, Montjeu, then his Derby-winning son Pour Moi, then the 2016 French 2,000 Guineas winner, The Gurkha, Saxon Warrior, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket and St Mark's Basilica, winner of the French 2,000 Guineas and the Prix du Jockey Club in 2021.

Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane Longines

Due to an ideal gap between them (three weeks) and their similar distance, the Prix Saint-Alary (10 furlongs) constitutes a serious trial for the Prix de Diane Longines (10.5 furlongs). The Prix Saint-Alary-Prix de Diane Longines double has been done by twelve fillies: La Sega (1962), Belle Sicambre (1964), Pistol Packer (1971), Madelia (1977), Reine de Saba (1978), Harbour (1982), Lacovia (1986), Indian Skimmer (1987), Zainta (1998), Stacelita (2009), Sarafina (2010) and Laurens (2018).

It should also be noted that seven fillies placed second or third in the Prix Saint-Alary have taken their revenge by subsequently winning the Prix de Diane: Hermières (1961, 2nd), Escaline (1983, 3rd), Northern Trick (1984, 2nd), Restless Kara (1988, 3rd), Lady in Silver (1989, 3rd), Jolypha (1992, 2nd) and Bright Sky (2002, 2nd).



  • Aga Khan (8 wins): Cervinia (1963), Behera (1989), Zainta (1998), Vadawina (2005), Sarafina (2010), Sagawara (2012), Vazira (2014), Siyarafina (2019).
  • Famille Wertheimer (5 wins): Reine de Saba (1978), Rivière d’Or (1988), Fidélité (2003), Silasol (2013), Queen’s Jewel (2015). 
  • Mohammed Al Maktoum/Darley/Godolphin (5 wins): Indian Skimmer (1987), Rosefinch (1992), Intrepidity (1993), Wavering (2011), Sobetsu (2017).
  • François Dupré (3 wins): Solitude (1961), La Sega (1962), Tonnera (1966).
  • Mrs. Alec Head (3 wins): Pistol Packer (1971), Riverqueen (1976), Three Troikas (1979).
  • Daniel Wildenstein (3 wins): Madelia (1977), Moonlight Dance (1994), Muncie (1995).


  • André Fabre (8 wins): Grise Mine (1984), Rosefinch (1992), Intrepidity (1993), Moonlight Dance (1994), Muncie (1995), Luna Wells (1996), Vadawina (2005), Wavering (2011).
  • Alain de Royer-Dupré (7 wins): Behera (1989), Zainta (1998), Belle et Célèbre (2008), Sarafina (2010), Sagawara (2012), Vazira (2014), Siyarafina (2019).
  • Christiane Head (6 wins): Three Troikas (1979), Harbour (1982), Fitnah (1985), Rivière d'Or (1988), Treble (1991), Fidélité (2003).
  • Jean-Claude Rouget (6 wins): Ask for the Moon (2004), Germance (2006), Coquerelle (2007), Stacelita (2009), Jemayel (2016), Tawkeel (2020).


  • Freddy Head (9 wins): Tidra (1967), Pistol Packer (1971), Riverqueen (1976), Reine de Saba (1978), Three Troikas (1979), Harbour (1982), Fitnah (1985), Lacovia (1986), Treble (1991).
  • Yves Saint-Martin (6 wins): Solitude (1961), La Sega (1962), Tonnera (1966), Saraca (1969), Madelia (1977), Grise Mine (1984).
  • Christophe Soumillon (5 wins): Vadawina (2005), Vazira (2014), Siyarafina (2019), Incarville (2021), Jannah Rose (2023).
  • Thierry Jarnet (4 wins): Intrepidity (1993), Moonlight Dance (1994), Luna Wells (1996), Marotta (2002).
  • Olivier Peslier (4 wins): Muncie (1995), Brilliance (1997), Fidélité (2003), Silasol (2013).
  • Christophe-Patrice Lemaire (4 wins): Coquerelle (2007), Belle et Célèbre (2008), Stacelita (2009), Sagawara (2012).
  • Alain Badel (3 wins): Smuggly (1983), Air de Rien (1990), Rêve d'Oscar (2000).