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Yeats Wins French Gr1 Royal-Oak
In France overnight, top staying 7YO Irish entire & former Melbourne Cup runner Yeats (Sadler's Wells-Lyndonville, by Top Ville) confirmed his status as among the world's top stayers with a 1.5-lengths victory in the €250,000 (A$475,000) Gr1 Prix Royal Oak-French St Leger (3100m) at Longchamp in Paris. Ballydoyle's Irish-bred Yeats (ridden by Johnny Murtagh for trainer Aidan O'Brien) recorded his 6th Gr1 triumph in defeating fellow Irish-bred 5YO mare Allegretto (Galileo-Alleluia, by Caerleon) who won this race last year & Godolphin's UK-bred 4YO entire Veracity (Lomitas-Vituisa, by Bering). This season Yeats (who finished unplaced in the 2006 Gr1 Melbourne Cup) blitzed his rivals by 5-lengths for a 3rd successive victory in June's prestigious UK Gr1 Ascot Gold Cup (2.5 miles) at Royal Ascot & then similarly blitzed his rivals by 7-lengths in July's UK Gr2 Goodwood Cup (2 miles). Last season Yeats notched 4 European victories (also including the Gr1 Irish St Leger over 14 furlongs at The Curragh, plus Ireland's Listed Vintage Crop Stakes over 13 furlongs at Navan by 5-lengths & Ireland's Listed Saval Beg Stakes over 14 furlongs at Leopardstown by 6-lengths, as well as running 3rd in the French Gr1 Prix Du Cadran over 4000m at Longchamp). Previously in 2006 he also won the UK Gr2 Goodwood Cup (2 miles) by 5-lengths in course record time, as well as finishing runner-up in the Gr1 Irish St Leger; in 2005 he won England's Gr1 Coronation Cup (12 furlongs) at Epsom Downs; & in 2004 he won both Ireland's Gr3 Ballysax Stakes & Gr2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. Overall Yeats took his record to 14 wins & 3 placings from 22 starts.