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Qualifying for the Prix d’Amérique

21 November 2021

It is always a difficult task for trainers to qualify their horses for the G1 Grand Prix d'Amérique (2700m). The best option is to finish in the top three in any of the qualifying races and Mickael Charuel will be aiming to do that with Fakir du Lorault...

What did you think of Fakir du Lorault's last race? 

The last time, in the Prix des Cévennes, I wanted to take the lead and then Chica de Joudes passed me but slowed down the pace. We were second after a scenario which was quite unusual. In the end, Fakir ran really well. There was no pace at all, He ended up behind the back of Chica de Joudes, who hadn't been in front for a long time. 

Is he a cool minded horse? 

He is super cool ! This is what makes it strong. He has a mind of steel which allows him to last and be competent over all the distances. That's part of the reason why I use a hood with him. He wears one also because he is a horse that tends to break his stride when he starts a race.

Don't you want to try to take that hood off? 

I think we are all the same when we have a preference. Why change something that works? Maybe if he qualifies on Sunday, I'll try to run him without a hood once to see! 

What is your goal for Sunday in the Prix de Bretagne? 

Clearly, it's all about qualifying. Last year we were 4th in this race! We failed one place close to qualify and then, there were a series of bad races. We shouldn't miss the mark on Sunday, but with the presence of Face Time Bourbon there are not three but two tickets to fill! In any case, my horse is ready. If he qualifies on Sunday, that will be a big sigh of relief. After that, he can run quietly, while defending our chances each time, but I won’t have to risk hard races to seek qualification at all costs. 

Do you already have your plans for the future? 

If he qualifies on Sunday, we will have to manage the aftermath and also keep him in shape. This is a balance to be maintained until the Prix d’Amérique at the end of January. Each trainer has their own way of training and of seeing things, I can't see myself asking a colleague how they would do in my place! I'm going to improvise and do it my way! I know my horse by heart. If I learned any lessons from last winter meeting, it's that when you have a horse like that, youlearn, even the most difficult lessons. But I can’t deny that he really made me a better trainer!

What has been your career path? 

I was a personal trainer for 10 years, and last year I became a public one. Because of the Covid, it was a little complicated. In March last year, the session fell along with the lockdown, I was only able to do the first week. I'm based in La Manche, not far from Granville. “Fakir” has never seen a training track to work on. I have always used Jullouville’s beach (Editor's note: this beach is well known to all trainers. Isabelle Pacault trains her horses there regularly, including the winner of the Grand Steeple Chase de Paris, Carriacou). At home, I just have a 600 metre track. Before taking my fillies and colts to qualifying, I take them out to the Mont-Saint-Michel racecourse. Currently, I have few horses in racing age to run. The new generation has just arrived. I have five yearlings by Fakir du Lorault, they are his first offspring. I want to show my confidence in my horse as a stallion. The first year he had a full schedule with 100 French mares, then he did 62 and this year, because of an average meeting, he only covered 32! His winter performances could be a game-changer for 2022. 

Fakir du Lorault in figures 

  • Record of 1'09”7 (3rd in the Prix de l'Etoile Gr.1, 2200m) won by Face Time Bourbon in the same time. 
  • Races: 67 
  • Wins: 11 (16%) - 2nd/3rd: 17 (25%) - Podiums: 41% 
  • Disqualifications: 18 (27%) 
  • Earnings: €612,030 

    Qualifying Races to Grand Prix d’Amérique 
  • December 12 - Prix du Bourbonnais 
  • December 26 - Prix Ténor de Baune (5 years) and Critérium Continental Gr.1 (4 years) 
  • January 2 - Prix de Bourgogne
  • January 16 - Prix de Belgique