O’Brien dashed opposite number Andre Fabre’s chances of a 12th win in the event, the Irish trainer landing his second victory in the race, the first coming in 2005 with Scorpion.
This time around it was Imperial Monarch who won it for O’Brien, the colt dominating virtually from start to finish to deny the Fabre duo of Last Train and Saint-Baudolino.
In a relatively slow race, Imperial Monarch picked up the pace in the final sprint to atone for his disappointing eighth place in the Prix du Jockey-Club. In holding off the challenges of Mickael Barzalona and Maxime Guyon in particular, jockey Joseph O’Brien also showed his cool head in a tight situation.
One of the biggest disappointments was the performance of Main Sequence, who went into the race having won four of his last five races and finished second in the other.
Under Ted Durcan, and seemingly unhappy with the languid pace and the bumping and boring in the pack, he could only finish fourth, beating Top Trip to that position by a short neck.
Finishing five lengths further back was Stephane Pasquier on Hard Dream, while the eight-placed Nutello has as yet been unable to live up to the high expectations the jockey-turned-pundit Dominique Bœuf has of him.
Finally, the celebrated duo of the Aga Khan and Jean-Claude Rouget, who teamed up successfully in the Prix de Diane-Longines, found themselves in the unaccustomed position of last place with Lidari.
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