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Leading Contenders

09 January 2021

At Vincennes on Sunday, two feature Group Two races will be run, the driven G2 Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve (2700m) for four-year-olds and mounted G2 Prix du Calvados (2850m), the final trial for the feature mounted G1 Grand Prix De Cornulier (2700m) in two weeks on Sunday 24 January. 


G2 Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve (2700m)

Hatchet Man 

Hatchet Man holds a great record of six wins from twelve outings which includes two runs back in the G3 Letrot Open Des Regions - 3 Ans (2850m) by a neck. He disappointed in the G1 Criterium Des 3 Ans (2700m) when disqualified but holds ability and he can bounce back at this level. On the shortlist. 


Another barefoot runner who is a very consistent type and was in great form in 2020 especially in the summer with a four-timer culminating in the G2 Prix Abel Bassigny (2175m) at the start of the Winter Meeting. Went close when a nose runner up in the G2 Prix Jacques De Vauloge (2700m) end of November but only eighth of twelve in the G1 Criterium Des 3 Ans (2700m) last month. Should find this easier. In the mix.   

Hooker Berry  

Jean-Michel Bazire trains and drive this barefooted contender who despite only having five victories from eighteen starts makes appeal. Placed on many occasions at various Group levels with notable achievements in the shape of the G2 Prix Pierre Plazen (2700m) here in August 2020 and a close four length sixth to Face Time Bourbon in the G1 Prix De L'Etoile (2200m). Good form this Winter Meeting with a second (G2 Prix Abel Bassigny (2175m), win (G2 Prix Jacques De Vauloge (2700m)) and third (G1 Criterium Des 3 Ans (2700m)) in that order. Contender. 

Hirondelle Sibey 

Beaten the same margin as Hooker Berry in the G1 Criterium Des 3 Ans (2700m) three weeks ago but finished fifth after setting an early pace. Eric Raffin steers which could help as previous victories with this combination include two outings back in the G2 Prix Annick Dreux (2700m) and G2 Prix Reine Du Corta (2175m) in November. Every chance of being involved once more. 

G2 Mounted Prix du Calvados (2850m)

Fado du Chêne 

A six-year-old who is proven at this level with thirteen victories from thirty outings in this discipline. This includes five weeks ago in the G2 Prix Joseph Lafosse (2700m) by one length. Can be risky with DQ in the form book spread around but if on best form holds a chance.  

Etoile de Bruyère 

A seven-year-old mare who switches shoes combination with now the front pair off. This time last year produced a great effort when three lengths runner up in the G1 Grand Prix De Cornulier (2700m). Since that run, her form has been mixed with a good run preceding a disappointment. However, this Winter Meeting so far she has progressed and shown promise including a neck success in the G2 Prix Edmond Henry (2700m) at the end of November, however struggled in the G3 Prix Jean Dumouch (2850m) three weeks ago. A notable angle is the return to this discipline which is a big help. Makes appeal.  

Daïda de Vandel 

An eight-year-old mare who runs barefoot just like when a good neck runner up in the G3 Mounted Prix Auguste Francois (2175m) last month. Had mixed form in 2020 but is best with all shoes off with wins coming in the G3 Prix Sans Dire Oui 2019 (2850m), G3 Prix Djerid (2200m) and the G3 Prix De L'Ile D'Oleron (2850m) in November with the same shoe combination. Interesting candidate in this grade.