Makfi storms to victory in the 2,000 Guineas
Makfi upstaged favourite St Nicholas Abbey to claim a surprise victory in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
The Mikel Delzangles trained French colt (33-1) was unbeaten in two starts and ran a good race under Christophe Lemaire to win by a length and a half.
He made good headway to take the lead at the final furlong marker and remained strong up to the winning post.
Richard Hannon trained duo Dick Turpin and Canford Cliffs came in second and third with St Nicholas Abbey well back.
French jockey Lemaire, who won the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte on Makfi earlier this month, continued his good record at Newmarket with the win.
"I'm very pleased, he won well last time but we were worried about his lack of experience," he said.
We're not disappointed with the performance and I suppose we'd have liked to have seen an even, strong run race for him
"Today his condition had improved and he travelled well all the way. When I got the gap he really kicked. He has a very good turn of foot and is a top-class horse.
"I was not worried about the ground today, good horses go on any ground."
Trainer Delzangles said: "It's amazing. We liked him as he's a son of Dubawi and a good looking horse.
"We weren't really worried about the ground and he's proved he's a very good horse.
"Maybe now we'll come back to England for the St James's Palace Stakes and the French Guineas is a possibility but it's only two weeks away and he's only run three times, so maybe we'll come back for Royal Ascot."
Hannon spoke with pride at seeing his horses claim second and third.
"They have both run super races, and you can't really say too much more than that," he reflected.
"They proved they are two very good horses and I am thrilled with them."
Aidan O'Brien's hitherto unbeaten St Nicholas Abbey, who went off the evens favourite, never got into a serious race and could only finish sixth.
O'Brien claimed: "We're not disappointed with the performance and I suppose we'd have liked to have seen an even, strong run race for him.
"We trained him all year with the classics in mind. It was easy going for a Derby trial but he was working so well and his times were so good - as good as all the milers that we've had.
"That's why we decided to let him take his chance in the Guineas and when you come for a classic like this they usually go a pace, but obviously we didn't put anything in to go an even building pace in front, which we often do.
"Johnny just said they hacked to halfway and then sprinted and then he started staying on again at the end.
"We weren't winding him up for a mile as we were thinking of the rest of the year and didn't want to light him up too much.
"We're happy with the horse."
2,000 Guineas (Newmarket)
1. Makfi (C Lemaire) 33-1
2. Dick Turpin (R Moore) 16-1
3. Canford Cliffs (R Hughes) 12-1
19 ran. Dist: Length and a half