Knight To Behold storms back to form
Knight To Behold stormed back to the sort of form he showed in the Lingfield Derby Trial under a canny ride from Oisin Murphy to land the Haras du Logis-sponsored Prix Guillaume d’Ornano, leaving the first three home in the French Derby toiling more than four lengths in his wake.
Prix du Jockey Club hero Study Of Man could only finish third, beaten this time by the Chantilly runner-up Patascoy, while later on the card Godolphin’s popular gelding Talismanic put himself in the Arc picture with a comfortable Group 3 success.
After a race which is designed to launch the Classic three-year-olds on the road to the major autumn targets, trainer Harry Dunlop and owner Neil Jones will have some hugely enjoyable discussions about where to go next after the son of Sea The Stars, who holds no entries, put a pair of Derby disappointments behind him on this return to a mile and a quarter.
Dunlop was absent but wife and assistant Christina was understandably delighted with Knight To Behold’s success.
“It is a wonderful tribute to Harry’s father John and all his pathfinding here in France,” said Dunlop, flanked by the late trainer’s youngest grandson, William.
“At home we have always felt he might be better than Robin Of Navan, who he works with, and this is great payoff for the patience of both Harry and his lad Colm. I’m sure Harry will have a long chat tonight as to where he’ll go next with [owner] Neil Jones, who bred Millenary and Let The Lion Roar in the same family.”
Murphy revealed he has been a longtime admirer of Knight To Behold and will also be asked for his input before a plan is hatched.
“I didn’t go slow up front but I set a nice even gallop,” said Murphy. “I knew he was saving a bit but I didn’t feel they handed me the race, I feel I was on a very good horse.
“I rode him before he ever made his debut and really liked him but I’ve had to wait a long time to get on his back again. I’d like to see him given some time between his races.”