Stunning Spirit off the mark as Chehboub homebred as Pastisse wins at Salon-de-Provence

Haras de Beaumont's first-season sire Stunning Spirit got off the mark in appropriate circumstances as Pastisse struck at Salon-de-Provence in the south of France on Wednesday. 

Carrying the same yellow and green colours as her sire, those of Gousserie Racing, the Patrice Cottier-trained filly strode to an easy length-and-a-half victory in the Prix de la Cote Bleue over five and a half furlongs, following a debut second at Marseille-Borely last month. 

The two-year-old, who was ridden by Marvin Grandin, was providing a number of firsts for her connections, both human and equine, as a representative of the Chehboub family's burgeoning breeding and ownership operation.

Beaumont stud manager Mathieu Alex said: "It's the first for the stallion and the first homebred winner for Haras de Beaumont, which is good. She's also the first runner for the horse and out of a very good mare who had quality – it's a great start for her.

"Stunning Spirit wasn't a Group 1 winner but was very well bred and has had good support from the team here since year one. He has very good-looking yearlings and we hope with this success to be busy again this year. 

"He throws horses with a lot of physique, good size and good strength. I wasn't expecting this filly to be that early but it's a compliment to the sire."

Pastisse is out of the Olympic Glory mare Phoceene, a Listed winner at Saint-Cloud when landing the 2019 Prix Rose de Mai at three from subsequent Group 1 winner Grand Glory. She was then beaten just a neck in the Group 3 Prix Penelope, finishing second to Cartiem. 

A half-sister to stakes performer Whampoa Star, Phoceene is out of Atlantic Slew, a Helissio half-sister to Prix Maurice de Nieuil winner and Prix du Cadran second Incanto Dream, and to Santa Anita Grade 2 winner Atlando. 

On what the future holds for eight-year-old Phoceene, Alex said: "She has a very nice Sealiway foal at foot and is going to Ace Impact, so she's very much married to the farm."

Stunning Spirit was bred by George Strawbridge and carried his colours to win a brace of Listed contests and place on a number of occasions in Group races when trained by Freddy Head. 

Having sold at the 2019 Arqana Arc Sale to Paul Nataf for €65,000, he was from then on trained by Frederic Rossi, winning his first Pattern contest in the Group 3 Prix Quincey at Deauville along with a valuable prize in Qatar. He was also third to subsequent multiple Group 1 winner Space Blues in the Prix de la Porte Maillot at Longchamp.

The ten-year-old is out of a Dynaformer sister to Matron Stakes and Fillies' Mile winner Rainbow View, while the mare's half-siblings include Lingfield Derby winner Wissahickon, dual Grade 3 Arlington Handicap winner and multiple Grade 1-placed Just As Well, Pimlico Grade 2 winner Utley and dual Grade 3 winner Winter View.

He was retired to Haras du Hoguenet for his first season of covering in 2021, and joined the Haras de Beaumont ranks last year. He has 23 potential representatives from his first crop.

The son of Invincible Spirit stands at the newly minted Normandy stud alongside last year's unbeaten Arc and Prix du Jockey Club hero Ace Impact, as well as proven Group 1 sire Intello and the Champion Stakes and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Sealiway, whose first foals are arriving this season. 

Alex reported Ace Impact's first covering season to be going well, saying: "He's got fantastic fertility, which is always a help when you're busy in year one. He's very professional and we're very happy with the support we're getting, not only from France but also Britain, Ireland, Germany, Japan and America. 

"He was a champion and it's great to have the support he's having."