Deauville’s intimate enclosure was full to bursting with every kind of contrasting emotion at the culmination of a pulsating Prix Jean Romanet. Watch Grand Glory racing video win.

For the US-Italian connections of Grand Glory; the tears were of joy after Cristian Demuro conjured one final effort to deprive 2020 heroine Audarya on the line, giving Maisons-Laffitte trainer Gianluca Bietolini the biggest success of his career.

For James Fanshawe and owner Alison Swinburn there was a mixture of pride; relief and frustration after Audarya bounced back from a lifeless effort in the Nassau Stakes with a tooth-and-claw defence of her title.

And in a quieter corner of that chaotic throng; William Jarvis and Emma Banks were lost in quiet reflection and evident disappointment after Goodwood heroine Lady Bowthorpe took her turn to run well below par, beating only one home having never seriously threatened in the home straight.

While co-owner John d’Amato was on the phone regaling his two co-owners stateside with details of Grand Glory’s victory—”if you don’t come over for her next run; you’re dead to me!” he yelled with friendly menace—Bietolini was struggling to take in the success of a mare in whom he has always believed, but who had never come closer to breaking her group 1 duck than when third in the 2019 Prix de Diane Longines (G1).

“I really wanted a good pace to run at and she got a lovely clean split and then she had to accelerate twice;” said Bietolini, who won half a dozen group 1’s in his native Italy before trading the Capannelle in Rome for the quiet pistes of Maisons-Laffitte in 2013. 

Grand Glory performance

“She was really extraordinary there because she had to really pick up just to get to the leader and then there was a moment when I wondered if she could go past. But she was so courageous and Cristian gave her a brilliant ride,” Bietolini said. “It’s a dream to win a race like this and especially with this mare. She really deserved it and I’m still pinching myself, I can’t believe it.”

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