But Lester hadn't done it again. Yves had. Side by side they fought those last desperate yards, and at the wire, with Nijinsky either tiring after his first close combat or Sassafras coming on again, it was Yves in front of Lester by a head. Two lengths behind them came Miss Dan, in a rather remarkable performance of her own. She beat Gyr by a length and a half for third place, while the same margin separated Gyr from fifth-place Blakeney. Sassafras' time of 2:29.7 was less than a second off the track record set by Levmoss a year ago.
As the post race dusk fell over Longchamp, contrasting moods were everywhere evident. One Irish horseman said bravely, "It is not only a sad day for Ireland, England, Canada and the United States. It is a sad day for all racing when the best horse gets beat." Yves Saint-Martin was sipping champagne with the Longchamp stewards and members of the Jockey Club. He had confided to his happy owners, "I didn't win this race as much as Piggott lost it." And outside, old soldier Mathet, the most successful trainer in French racing, was starting to walk, alone, to his car. An elderly lady, who actually seemed to have tears in her eyes, tapped him gently on the shoulder, and he turned to face her. "Bravo, Monsieur Mathet!" she exclaimed.