E.P. Taylor STAKES | PURSE: $1 MILLION | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 1 | 1 1/4 MILES (TURF)
Robert Jeffcock's Siyouma, who brought top-class European form to Sunday's Grade 1, $1,026,822 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, reigned supreme in the prestigious turf test for distaffers. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite with Gerald Mosse, the French shipper kicked clear in the stretch to record her second straight top-level victory, following the Group 1 Sun Chariot at Newmarket September 29.
Although the E.P. Taylor was a "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, trainer Francois Doumen politely declined the invitation. Other targets are beckoning in the Far East, including the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth I Commemorative Cup at Kyoto, and especially the Hong Kong International Races on December 9 at Sha Tin.
Siyouma pulled early as Mosse tried to cajole her into a stalking trip, and she took up a spot just off the pace established by Kapitale through fractions of :25 4/5, :50 2/5, 1:14 4/5 and 1:39 1/5 on the good turf. Dream Peace, a near-miss third in last year's E.P. Taylor, was biding her time farther back, but crept into a contending position by the time the field straightened into the stretch. Pagera, always close in a rail-skimming trip, was another in the hunt.
But Siyouma had also cruised forward, and her sharp change of gear left Dream Peace and Pagera one-paced. Siyouma drew off by a convincing 1 3/4 lengths, finishing 1 1/4 miles in 2:03 and furnishing $7.70, $4.80 and $3.30 to her backers.
"To be honest, I was not worried about the track, the ground and the filly," Mosse said. "I was just a bit worried (about the quick turnaround). Two weeks ago, she was in the UK and we won a Group 1 already. It was a bit short in timing, but I told the trainer that if he chose to come, it means we are coming for something solid."
"She's so good and she's so calm," Doumen said. "She has got such a wonderful temperament that it allows her to travel beautifully well and takes all the effort away."
Pagera overhauled Dream Peace by a neck to garner runner-up honors in the all-French exacta.
"We traveled very well," Pagera's rider Olivier Peslier said, "and had plenty of chance to gain the lead and did very well to be second. I think it's (the turf) more heavy, which is not for her, but she ran very well."
Kissable rallied for fourth, followed by the slow-starting Havant, Barefoot Lady, Moment of Majesty, All Star Heart, Stars to Shine, Princess Highway, Trois Lunes, Kapitale and the tailed-off Vamo a Galupiar.
Bred by the Aga Khan in Ireland, Siyouma was originally trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre. The daughter of Medicean made two starts as a three-year-old for her owner/breeder, and captured a Longchamp maiden last summer in her second try.
Siyouma was not seen again until the Arqana December Sale, where she was sold for $294,712. A winner on her debut for Doumen at Compiegne in March, she finished third to Pagera in a Saint-Cloud conditions race and fourth versus males in the Le Vase d'Argent at Toulouse.
Taking a step forward in the Group 2 Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud May 28, Siyouma was a fine third, beaten less than a length by future Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Solemia and 2011 Arc runner-up Shareta. Siyouma was third again to Giofra and Elusive Kate in the Group 1 Falmouth over a mile at Newmarket July 13, and fifth to the likes of Snow Fairy and Izzi Top in the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville August 19. Back at Newmarket in her last outing, Siyouma turned the tables on Elusive Kate in the Sun Chariot.
Siyouma now sports a 10-4-0-3 mark to go along with $861,535 in earnings. The half-sister to Group 1 hero Siyouni is out of French stakes victress Sichilla, a Danehill mare who is in turn a half-sister to multiple highweight and four-time Group 1 star Slickly. Sichilla and Slickly are also half-siblings to Grade 2 scorer No Slip.
Siyouma's third dam is Grade 1 winner Country Queen, and another prominent family member is Grade/Group 1 hero Procida.