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Nahrain noses out Announce in Opera

10/2/2011

Nahrain remained unbeaten after four races, and earned a fees-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf next month, with a nose victory in the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris on Sunday.

Nahrain outfinished Announce to give trainer Roger Varian his first career Group 1 win. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Nahrain, 3, was always near the front in the race over about 1 1/4 miles for fillies and mares. She took the lead in the final furlong and was fully extended to hold off Announce, the 2-1 favorite.

Announced won the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet in Deauville in August. Banimpire finished third in the field of 10.

Owned by Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum, Nahrain, by Selkirk, is based in England and made her first start outside that country in the Prix de l'Opera, part of the undercard of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The BC Filly and Mare Turf will be run at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

There were seven Grade 1 races for Thoroughbreds on Sunday's card at Longchamp and Dettori won two. Earlier in the card, Dettori rode the 2-year-old Dabirsim to a three-quarter length win in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium over seven furlongs. Dabirsim, the 1-2 favorite, gave Dettori, 40, his 500th career win in a group race.

Trained by Christophe Ferland for Simon Springer, Dabirsim is unbeaten in five starts. In the Grand Criterium, he rallied from last in a field of seven to beat Sofast. Dabirsim, by Hat Trick, earned a fees-paid berth to the BC Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

The Kentucky-bred filly Elusive Kate led throughout the Prix Marcel Boussac for 2-year-old fillies, recording her third consecutive stakes win in France.

Ridden by William Buick, Elusive Kate, sent off at 7-2, drifted to the outside through the final furlong but held on to win the one-mile race by three lengths over Fire Lilly. The previously unbeaten Zantenda finished third as the 4-5 favorite.

By Elusive Quality, Elusive Kate is trained in England by John Gosden and is owned by Rachel Hood and Magnolia Racing. Elusive Kate won two stakes at Deauville in July and August.

The 19-1 outsider Tangerine Trees pulled an upset in the Prix de l'Abbaye over a straightaway five furlongs, leading throughout to win by a neck over Secret Asset.

Sole Power, who raced in traffic midway through the race, finished third in the field of 15. Prohibit, the 5-2 favorite, finished seventh.

Tangerine Trees, trained by Bryan Smart for the Tangerine Trees Partnership, is a 6-year-old gelding by Mind Games, who won a minor stakes at tiny Beverley, England, in his preceding start in August.

Tangerine Trees gave jockey Tom Eaves his first win in a Group 1 race.

The program started with the Prix de Cadran over 2 1/2 miles, which was won by the remarkable 9-year-old gelding Kasbah Bliss. Ridden by Gerard Mosse, Kasbah Bliss closed from last in a field of nine to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Tres Rock Danon.

Trained by Francois Doumen, Kasbah Bliss was the 2-1 favorite. Ley Hunter finished third. The win ended a four-race losing streak for Kasbah Bliss, dating back to the Prix Right Royal over about 1 7/8 miles at Saint-Cloud in April.

Sunday's race was Kasbah Bliss's fourth appearance in the Prix de Cadran. By Kahyasi, Kasbah Bliss was fourth in 2008, second in 2009 and third in 2010. Since the spring of 2009, Kasbah Bliss has raced in flat races, but earlier in his career he was an accomplished hurdler. He won hurdle stakes in England and France, and was second in the 2008 World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Sunday's Prix de Cadran was Kasbah Bliss's first Group 1 win in his 57th career start.