Martyn Meade lands first Group One success with Aclaim in Prix de la Foret

Sun 1 Oct 2017

Watch how Aclaim provided trainer Martyn Meade with the first Group One success of his career in France on Sunday

By staff

Aclaim provided trainer Martyn Meade with the first Group One success of his career with victory in the Qatar Prix de la Foret.

Having opened his account for the campaign in the Group Two Park Stakes at Doncaster a fortnight ago, the four-year-old lined up at Chantilly with major claims.

He was caught in a pocket behind the front-running Karar with two furlongs to run, but found top gear once switched wide by Oisin Murphy and got up late in the day.

So Beloved, trained by David O'Meara, flashed home to fill the runner-up spot.

Aclaim's triumph meant of the six Group One events on the afternoon, four went to British challengers and the other two were trained by Aidan O'Brien.

An emotional Meade said: "He's a tough little horse. He tries so hard that he reduces me to tears. He comes to his best form at this time of year.

“It was ideal conditions today, the ground was absolutely perfect, and the 7f trip is ideal for him.

"The whole plan this year was to win a Group One, and he’s done it but we left it a bit late! He won’t run again this year, and we’ll make a decision about next year later on.

"It’s a very special win, as it’s my first one at this level, and he’s a real family horse. It’s been a great team effort to get here. He's a real warrior."

David O'Meara was happy with So Beloved's effort.

“He was a bit blocked in during the race but he finished strongly," he said.

"We are not surprised that he ran so well. It was a very similar race to the one he had in the Lennox Stakes, but he handled it better today. He is a really talented horse. I’m not sure where he will go next. Along with his owners, we wanted to see if he could handle 1400 meters with a turn. He has done so well and we are delighted.”

All afternoon the refrain from various trainers had been that they would look at the Breeders' Cup and Francis-Henri Graffard, trainer of Karar, was no exception.

“He’s run well, and was brave," he said.

"This run shows that he likes this trip. His jockey thought that he was going to win for a moment, but then the others came up on him.

"When he can control the race, he is competitive at this level. We will see how he comes back from the race, but the Breeders’ Cup Mile, on good ground and around two turns at Del Mar, could be an interesting entry. However it’s not yet a certainty.”

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