Top fillies Shutter Speed and Rhododendron clash in Prix de Diane at Chantilly

Shutter Speed
Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed has looked every inch a top-class filly in her short career to date and gets the chance to prove it in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on Sunday.

The winner of a Yarmouth maiden on her only start as a two-year-old, the daughter of Dansili dominated her rivals on her seasonal reappearance at Newbury, with her stablemate and subsequent Epsom Oaks heroine Enable back in third.

Shutter Speed overcame testing conditions to enhance her reputation in last month's Musidora Stakes at York and with trainer John Gosden keen to stick to a mile and a quarter, this weekend's French Oaks has always been her intended Classic assignment.

Jockey Frankie Dettori appears to have shaken off a shoulder injury suffered in a paddock fall at Yarmouth earlier this week and while a wide draw in stall 14 is a blow to her chances, connections are in positive mood.

Gosden and Dettori teamed up to win the Prix de Diane two years ago with Star Of Seville.

"She's in good form and I'm told the ground is good and fast," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.

"We think she's in very good shape and I'm told Frankie is in good shape as well, so all the ingredients are there.

"Her form is good and she's got to go and prove herself at the highest level now. There are one or two obstacles there and the draw isn't ideal, but that's life.

"Frankie does ride Chantilly particularly well."

Aidan O'Brien has never previously won the French Classic, but has a major contender for this year's renewal in Rhododendron.

The Galileo filly found only stable companion Winter too strong in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket before being outstayed by Enable over a mile and a half at Epsom.

O'Brien said: "Obviously she only ran a couple of weeks ago, but she seems to be in good form.

"It's running her back a little bit quick, but we are hoping that she's in good form and she runs a good race. We don't think the drop back will bother her and that trip should be fine."

Heading the home team is the impeccably-bred Terrakova.

A daughter of Galileo out of the brilliant racemare Goldikova, the three-year-old is unbeaten in two starts for Freddy Head, who said: "I always planned to only give her one run last year.

"I know the family well, they are not very precocious, so I didn't see the point in rushing her to get ready for a Group race.

"This season I've taken my time with her. If I had her ready in March and I still want her in September/October, that is a long time for a filly.

"At the moment 10 furlongs is her trip, but I'm confident she will stay further. I was impressed with her last time because she didn't have an easy trip. She had to be rushed up to keep her position but was settled all the time.

"When it mattered she then found an extra gear, even though she got checked in the straight."

Andre Fabre, who has won the French Oaks on four previous occasions, saddles the Godolphin-owned Kitesurf.

"She came out of the Prix de Royaumont in much better form than expected," Fabre told www.godolphin.com.

"She showed that day that she handles good ground and the track at Chantilly. It's a wide open race and she deserves to take her chance."

Other contenders include Pascal Bary's pair of Monroe Bay and Senga and the Alex Pantall-trained Sistercharlie.

Man On The Spot's verdict


John Gosden won this in 2015 and has leading claims again with the unbeaten SHUTTER SPEED. The latter won the Musidora at York last time and beat stablemate and subsequent Oaks winner Enable at Newbury before that. The latter beat Ballydoyle’s Rhododendron at Epsom so the form looks rock-solid. The home challenge is led by Terrakova, a Group 3 trial winner at Saint-Cloud, but Jean-Claude Rouget has won four of the last eight renewals so it would be no surprise if Listed winner Onthemoonagain proved competitive at this level. Andre Fabre is represented by Group 3 winner Kitesurf while Monroe Bay is preferred to stablemate Senga of the others.

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