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Leading Contenders: Prix de Cornulier

22 January 2021

We look at the leading contenders for the G1 International Grand Prix de Cornulier (2700m) including Flamme du Goutier, Etonnant and Gladys des Plaines... 

Flamme du Goutier

Flamme du Goutier may prove the horse to beat in the G1 Prix de Cornulier (2700m) with some excellent performances in the mounted division at the back end of 2020, including a victory in the G1 Prix de Normandie (3000m) where she recorded a kilometre rating of 1’12”7. Trainer Thierry Duvaldestin has switched the six-year-old mare to driven events to prepare for this contest, achieving success in the G3 Prix Constant Hervieu (2700m) and Class A Prix de Lille (2100m). She will be a leading contender back in her preferred discipline.

Etonnant

Etonnant has been switched between mounted and driven events over the last year, particularly excelling in this sphere. His second in the G2 Prix Edmond Henry (2700m) and subsequent win in the G3 Prix Auguste Francois (2175m) in November and December were an ideal preparation for this event and he proved himself at Group One standard when finishing second behind Bilibili in the G1 Prix de l'Ile-de-France (2175m) in February 2020.

Gladys des Plaines

Connections of Gladys des Plaines think their chance has improved considerably with the withdrawal of Bilibili (see this week’s newsletter for an interview with trainer Gilles Curens) and the little mare definitely has the ability to be involved in the closing stages. She has been racing purely in mounted company over the Winter Festival at Vincennes and caught the eye with a strong performance in the G2 Prix Emile Riotteau (2700m) in early January: an ideal warm-up for the big race.

Galactica (SWE)

The best of the international opposition, Galactica demonstrated rapid improvement in 2020 and picked up a couple of large prizes in native Sweden, including the G1 Monté-Sm (2140m) at Aby in October. She struggled to get involved when brought to France for the G2 Prix du Calvados (2850m) at Vincennes on 17 January, but her best kilometre rating (1’10”7) would put her in the mix.

Fado du Chêne

Although Fado du Chêne can struggle with disqualifications, his recent form puts him amongst the leading contenders for this race. A win in the G2 Prix du Calvados (2850m) at Vincennes earlier this month is some of the best form on offer and he beat some top-quality mounted horses in the G2 Prix Joseph Lafosse (2700m) prior.

Bahia Quesnot

Bahia Quesnot is an unusual entry for the G1 Prix de Cornulier (2700m), having not raced in mounted company since 2016. Her recent form suggests she can’t be ignored completely though – a third in the G2 Prix de Bretagne (2700m) earnt automatic qualification for the G1 Grand Prix d'Amérique (2700m) and a subsequent victory in Naples would make her interesting if she translated the form to this sphere.

Picture: © APHR

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