BC Internationals: Juvenile Fillies Turf contender Cavale Doree
As a private purchase by Martin Schwartz, whose previous imports include such stars as Gorella, Stacelita, Zagora, and current Filly & Mare Turf (G1) contender Sea Calisi, Cavale Doree fuels expectations ahead of her U.S. premiere.
The French-bred stamped herself as one to follow in her first three outings for trainer Christophe Ferland. Cavale Doree made her debut at Bordeaux’s La Teste de Buch, where she got galvanized a little too late and just missed by a diminishing neck. The 1-5 winner, Celanova, already had a run under her belt – a close third to Alrahma. Well regarded by Freddie Head, Alrahma went on to win the Prix de Cabourg (G3) and finished a closing second in the Prix Morny (G1) to Lady Aurelia.
A savvier Cavale Doree thrashed her foes in a Deauville maiden second time out, leaving a couple of subsequent winners in her wake. She was ready for a class hike in the Prix du Calvados (G3) over the same course, unleashing her typically strong rally from the back to forge clear late.
The Calvados form offers mixed signals. Although the placegetters haven’t done a great deal in the interim, also-rans Dame du Roi (fifth) and Calare (seventh) progressed to capture listed stakes in France and Ireland, respectively. And Dame du Roi was most recently second versus the boys in Prix Thomas Bryon (G3).
Schwartz acquired her after the Calvados, and Cavale Doree made her first start in his familiar silks in the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) on Arc Day. Whether it was the occasion, or something else that affected her frame of mind, she sweated up noticeably pre-race, appeared a touch rank off the steady pace early, and didn’t put her best foot forward in fifth. The Boussac didn’t set up well for closers either, but Senga came from even farther back to grab fourth.
The victorious Wuheida was stepping off a debut maiden score at Newmarket, and Aidan O’Brien’s runner-up, Promise to Be True, was coming off a subpar fifth to Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) contenders Intricately and Hydrangea. Herself a Juvenile Fillies Turf pre-entry, Promise to Be True instead returned to France on Sunday and finished third as the favorite against males in the Criterium International (G1).
The Boussac result suggests that Cavale Doree needs to improve to contend with the O’Brien battalion. Yet Cavale Doree may be the type to do well in American conditions. By the Forty Niner stallion Sunday Break, she was more effective at six and seven furlongs, and perhaps the stretch-out to a mile in the Boussac came too quickly for her. If Cavale Doree won’t find the competition any easier, at least Santa Anita’s mile will be.
Her young trainer already has experience in shipping successfully around the world. Formerly traveling head lad for trainer Richard Gibson, Ferland accompanied Doctor Dino on his globetrotting exploits, including a victory in the 2007 Man o’ War (G1). And Ferland’s biggest victories in his own right have come with two-year-olds – Europe’s co-champion juvenile colt of 2011, Dabirsim, and 2013 Boussac upsetter Indonesienne.
Photo courtesy Canal Turf via Twitter