THIS photo from zeTurf was taken in the split second the runners crossed the line in Sunday’s Gr1 Darley Prix Jean Romanet over 2000m at Deauville.
It shows the winner Amjan Princess, probably half-a-length past the winning post, with Smart Call (nearest camera), a clear second unless it’s a complete illusion.
Smart Call was actually declared fourth when the official photo was taken – winning distances 1,25; shd, shd – but got second half a stride later.
Conceivably, Smart Call may have gotten close to winning, but she received an almighty bump from third-placed Left Hand, had to shift outwards and lost her balance, something she took a full 200m to regain before she found her stride and powerful finishing effort.
Smart Call’s jockey Jim Crowley, a big proponent of safe whip use, would’ve wished he had one of those old shillelaghs (she-lay-lees), with the wooden knob to give French rider Maxine Guyon a reminder that cowboys belong in Arizona somewhere and not on a public racetrack.
But that’s racing – a bad-luck race for Jessica Slack’s South African-bred mare but one in which she showed she is fairly capable of pulling off a big prize in Europe.
“Sir Michael Stoute was upset with the interference suffered, he said Smart Call has a big race in her and he would like to prove it,” said spokesman Steven Jell on Sunday night.