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Lilac enters Arc reckoning after Chantilly success
Whilst most thoughts on this side of the Channel are concentrated on this week's superb Royal Ascot fixture, French racing presented another potential superstar when the Andre Fabre-trained Golden Lilac followed up her win last month in the French 1000 Guineas with an authoritative success in the Prix de Diane (the French Oaks), at Chantilly, writes Elliot Slater.
Now unbeaten in all five career starts, the daughter of Galileo, (who scored by an easy three lengths at Longchamp in May), stepped up to a mile-and-a-quarter for the first time and despite taking a strong hold and running freely through the first two furlongs still had enough left in the tank to quicken up in style inside the final furlong then ran on bravely to beat the favourite Galikova (a half-sister to the mighty Goldikova) by a length.
On a day when her trainer Andre Fabre landed all four Group races on the Chantilly card, Golden Lilac's (13/5) victory was the undoubted highlight, she having proved herself a filly of the very highest class, and will have the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in early October as her most likely long term target.
Bookmakers reacted to the success of the Maxime Guyon-ridden three-year-old by pricing her up as short as 10/1 in the ante-post horse racing odds for the premier European all-age middle-distance contest. Quite whether the filly will have the necessary stamina to see out the extra quarter mile of the Arc at the end of a long season remains to be seen, but at this point Fabre was not ruling out the possibility of taking on the world's best at the end of the term.
In the meantime no firm plans have been revealed for Golden Lilac and it might well be the case that after having had three runs already this term she could be given a mid-season break before being brought back in the autumn.