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News In Brief

26 January 2022

Breaking news on Tuesday was the withdrawal of race favourite Face Time Bourbon from the G1 Grand Prix d'Amerique this Sunday and the announcement of a sponsorship extension of the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe...  


Grand Prix d’Amerique Update 

On Tuesday breaking news was Face Time Bourbon has withdrawn from the G1 Grand Prix d’Amerique (2700m) after suffering an injury to his navicular bone causing lameness to his left anterior. This is the smallest bone in the hoof and has caused chronic inflammation between the navicular bone and perforator tendon. Face Time Bourbon would have started a short-priced favoutie to win the race for the third successive time.   

Although qualified thanks to a third in the G2 Prix de Bretagne (2700m), trainer Jean-Michel Bazire has withdrawn Ganay de Banville from the G1 Grand Prix d'Amérique. Having coughed several times last week, it has been considered the six-year-old will not be in a position to be at his best for the big race.   

Chica de Joudes has had little luck in attempting to gain automatic qualification for next Sunday’s G1 Grand Prix d’Amerique. She will remain nominated in the hope of securing a place in the final field.  

If Ganay de Banville is removed from the G1 Grand Prix d’Amerique, well-travelled eight-year-old Italian Vitruvio could make the final field and will be driven by his trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. With more than €1.5 million in earnings, he has previously contested the race finishing fifth in the 2020 edition won by Face Time Bourbon. His best recent performance was finishing second in a G3 autostart in Milan and was also third in the G1 Lottery won by Face Time Bourbon in Naples.  

Prix de Cornulier Review  

The G1 Prix de Cornulier (2700m) was run last Sunday. The race had two eleven-year-old contestants – Bilibili and Bahia Questnot – both previous winners of the race. Under the rules, they must retire at the end of the Winter Meeting. Have they run their last race? For Bilibili the decision has not been finalised. He finished sixth in the race and whilst putting in a good performance, after the last turn he could not extend at the same tempo than the placegetters. One option could be to run in the G1 Prix de l'Île-deFrance (5 February), but it will be over the shorter journey of 2200m, not his preferred distance. The 2021 winner, Bahia Quesnot finished fourth on Sunday after giving her all throughout the race and a decision has yet to be made if she will take her place again in a race.   

Five-time winning jockey of the Prix de Cornulier, Mathieu Abrivard, is the most successful rider in the Group One this century. He has also ridden in the past twenty renewals but after the race he announced his retirement from mounted race riding which concluded with his commitment the following day. Mathieu Abrivard’s record is impressive. More than 6,640 race rides (since the age of 16) for 835 victories. Whilst he has been contemplating retirement for a number of months, his race fall in December confirmed his decision that following the ‘Cornulier’ he would hang up his race-riding boots. In his mounted career he rode twelve Group One winners including Jag de Bellouet winning the Group One on three occasions (2004-2006). Bellissima France gave him a further win in 2017 and Bahia Quesnot in 2021.  

Other Trotting News  

Go For The Gold is closely related to the good performer Popinée of Timbia and by Ready Cash. He continues to progress under saddle, securing his sixth consecutive mounted victory at Cordemais on Saturday winning by a big margin.  

At Vincennes last Friday, Joueur Player Danica maintained his unbeaten record following a debut victory at Nantes, providing owner David Boismartel with his first winner at ‘Headquarters’. The win was also the first in 2022 for sire Very Nice Marceaux and for his dam, Rive Bleue, who has produced seven winners from eight foals.  

French driver Jean-Charles Piton delivered a grab and run performance at Gelsenkirchen in Germany, winning the opening race last Monday week on Haut en Couleur. It's a story of friendship as to why he made the trip across the Rhine through his association with Cédric Yetta. Piton had previously been associated with the horse having qualified him in France last May and then drove him at his only French start at Strasbourg (he was disqualified). His trainer, Miriam is located near the track in Gelsenkirchen  



Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe  

On Tuesday, France Galop and Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club confirmed an extension of their sponsorship agreement of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend. This renewal is for a five-year period from 2023 to 2027. The sponsorship first commenced in 2008. At the same time, sponsorship of the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club was also confirmed.    

Also on Tuesday, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has been named the best race in the world for the fifth time by Longines and the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities). This is based on the official rankings and since its inception in 2015, the Arc has been named the best race in the world five times - 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and in 2021.   

Almanzor, winner of the 2016 G1 Prix de Jockey Club (2100m), recorded his first black type as a stallion. In France standing at Haras d'Étreham, he shuttles between Europe and New Zealand where he stands at Cambridge Stud. From his first southern hemisphere crop Dynastic won the Listed Karaka Million 2yo (1200m). It is restricted to yearlings purchased at the Karaka sale (NZ), with the race valued at NZ$2m (€1.2m).   

G1 Prix Morny (1200m) runner-up and third best -rated two-year-old in France in 2021, Trident has been sold to Hong Kong for a seven-figure amount and will be trained by Caspar Fownes. Owned by Coolmore and trained by André Fabre the horse will enter quarantine in February.  

Following his success on his third start, trainer Jean-Claude Rouget said Muntjac will be targeted for the Class 1 Prix Policeman - one of the feature three-year-old races of the Cagnes-sur-Mer flat Winter Meeting - citing the way the horse travelled and his appreciation of the All-Weather surface.     


Easy winner on hurdle debut at Les Sables-d'Olonne in September, La Renommée then failed by a short neck at Auteuil at the end of October. Presented by Étienne & Grégoire Leenders for sale last autumn she was purchased for €120,000 and will do her future racing in England with a projected debut run this Friday at Doncaster (UK)