Blackbeard sees off Persian Force in Prix Morny

Blackbeard prevailed over Persian Force to bring home a triple win from Aidan O’Brien in an all British/Irish coached race of the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville.

The colt by No Nay Never was number one by Ballydoyle after winning the Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly last month.

The 270,000 guinea buy was well gone in the six-mile group one and set the pace alongside Amy Murphy’s Manhattan Jungle in the early stages as the five runners sped down the Normandy straight in two lines.

As the race developed, Frankie Dettori seemed to be traveling smoothly on Richard Hannon’s Persian Force and was soon arguing with Blackbeard at the head of affairs. The pair pulled away from The Antarctic in the final furlong, but it was Ryan Moore’s mount who pulled out extra when picking up first prize mattered most.

The win gave O’Brien his fourth win in the two-year-old competition and his first since 2001, and as a result Coral reduced the winner – like Group 1 winner Little Big Bear, a son of No Nay Never – to 16/1 from 25.1. for Qipco 2000 guineas next year.

Before that, however, there are more group races on the schedule for the speedy youngster, who has secured a guaranteed start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint through the 82-man Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Stakes races, with winners automatically earning spots at Keeneland in November .

“We are very happy with him. He always feels like he has that little bit more, but he (Moore) was smitten with him. He’s a really fast, precocious two-year-old – he’s jumping and taking a lot of races,” said O’Brien.

“Blackbeard is obviously very speed oriented, he might go further but he has a lot of speed. He would have the option to return (to France) for Group One (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day) or Middle Park (at Newmarket) so I think all those races are options for him.”

The Breeders’ Cup could also be an option for the runner-up, according to Hannon: “Perser ran a great race. Maybe we’ll check out the Prix de l’Abbaye or Middle Park. He’s a very good horse.

“If not, the Breeders’ Cup – it’s going to be great.”

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