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Ramadan Edges Beauvatier in Longchamp Trial

The Christopher Head-trained Ramadan picked up well under Aurelien Lemaitre.

Ramadan's trainer Christopher Head

Ramadan's trainer Christopher Head

Edward Whitaker/Racing Post

It is a particular characteristic of this key trials day at Longchamp for the first two French Classics that it is not just the winning connections who tend to smile after the event. 

The Prix de Fontainebleau (G3) was a case in point April 14, with the Christopher Head-trained Ramadan picking up well under Aurelien Lemaitre to repel the challenge of Beauvatier, whose trainer Yann Barberot was happy with the performance despite the defeat.

The son of Le Havre won a three-runner Listed race on very heavy ground at Saint-Cloud three weeks ago, while the runner-up was making his first appearance since finishing third to Rosallion in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) last October. 

Paddy Power cut Ramadan to 5-1 (from 12) for next month's Emirates Poule d'Essai des Poulains (G1), and he is now third best behind the Ballydoyle pair Henry Longfellow and Unquestionable. The same firm eased Beauvatier a couple of points to 6-1. 

Head said: "The other day the ground was so extreme we were left with only three runners and it told us virtually nothing. It was like a training gallop. But while I might not have learned much, it's always good for the horse to get a run under his belt and that undoubtedly helped today."

Ramadan continued the good recent run of owner Nurlan Bizakov's 3-year-olds, following Lazzat's win in the Prix Djebel (G3). The sky blue and yellow silks will again be seen when the Andre Fabre-trained Narkez runs in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket April 17. 

Ramadan finished a close fourth behind Los Angeles in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (G1) over 10 furlongs last October and has seemingly added an extra string to his bow in proving so effective back down to a mile.

"He certainly handles the mile well and so we'll head to the Poule (d'Essai des Poulains) with him, but he's got a (Prix du) Jockey Club entry and we know that's a real stallion-making race, so it would be a shame to miss out on the chance," said Head.

Beauvatier was the last to challenge Ramadan but, having closed with a burst of acceleration in the penultimate furlong, had to settle for the runner-up spot. 

"That was a good stepping stone to the Poule," said Barberot. "I've brought him along gently and hadn't worked him too hard, so I'm happy. He came to win his race and then the winner went again. Remember, he'd already had a run."

Barberot won this race 12 months ago with the impressive American Flag, who then failed to back up that performance in the Classic a month later. 

"The Poule comes up very quickly and I never had American Flag in the same form after he won this race," said Barberot.