Blue Rose Cen wins the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches 2023

Last year’s winner of the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac, France’s top race for 2-year-old fillies, Blue Rose Cen won the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at ParisLongchamp. The podium was 100 per cent French, as Lindy finished second at the main expense of Sauterne.

Ridden by Aurélien Lemaitre, Blue Rose Cen is trained at Chantilly by the young Christopher Head, who only started training in 2018. He is the heir-apparent to a rich family tradition that began with his great-great-great grandfather, William Senior, who left England for France in 1880. It continued with his father, Freddy Head, a crack jockey before he, in turn, became a great trainer, whereas his aunt, Christiane Head, is the only woman to have trained a winner of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe which she annexed on three occasions. Blue Rose Cen is owned and bred by the Yeguada Centurion, the stable of Leopoldo Fernández Pujals, a Cuban-born entrepreneur who made his fortune in Spain – where he founded the home delivery pizza chain Telepizza.

The technical result
Distances: 1 3/4l – 1 1/4l – 1/2l.
Time: 1’38’’24

What connections said:

Christopher Head (the trainer of Blue Rose Cen, 1st) – Chantilly (Oise)

« I don’t think that the magnitude of this success has sunk in yet! It’s really incredible. Blue Rose Cen is a filly I adore. I’ve been training her since she came to me, and she’s got tougher with time. The goal now is to go for the Prix de Diane Longines. Her pedigree suggests she will be able to go longer. We could have contemplated going for the Gr1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, but it’s better to stick with the French programme. »

Christophe Ferland (the trainer of Lindy, 2nd) – Chantilly (Oise) and La Teste (33)

 « Only victory provides for the ultimate experience. Yet in the cold light of day, this second place feels just as good. Lindy is great. She finished second in the Prix de la Grotte, and today she did likewise in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches. She is a genuine contender for the Prix de Diane Longines. Tonight she will return to her box at Chantilly and we will prepare her calmly, and in a serene frame of mind, for the Prix de Diane Longines. So see you in a month’s time at Chantilly! She is capable of winning a Group 1 race, of that I am sure »

Patrice Cottier (the trainer of Sauterne, 3rd, and Showay, 7th) – trained at Calas-Cabriès (Bouches du Rhône)

« Sauterne ran very well. I would have preferred to have seen a leader force the pace in the race, but when she went to the front she was very relaxed. I think the 1,600 metres is her maximum distance. Regarding Showay, I would have preferred her to race closer to the pace. Her performance is by no means bad as she was running-on in the straight. »

Carlos Laffon-Parias (the trainer of Kelina, 4th) – Chantilly (Oise)

« She ran very well and performed up to expectations. She had a good race and the ground was not a problem, as it wasn’t as testing as in the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac. She showed that she could go longer. We will think about the next step with a view to her gaining a black type win. »

Aidan O’Brien (the trainer of Never Ending Story, 5th) – trained in Ireland

« She ran a clean race. She’s a consistent filly. She produced a good finish and should be able to go longer, but, for the moment, nothing has been decided about where she goes next. »