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Weekly Round Up

17 November 2020

It was another important week in French racing and trotting with Auteuil hosting another excellent Sunday of jumping and it was the start of the Winter Meeting at Vincennes…  


Compiegne’s feature race on Wednesday was the final event on the programme. The Listed Grand Steeple-Chase-Cross-Country de Compiègne (5400m) saw Emmanuel Clayeux train the first two home with jockey James Reveley navigating Etat d'Espry to victory. The six-year-old relished the different obstacles throughout jumping and travelling perfectly throughout to produce a high-quality performance. A name to keep in mind. 

One of the biggest jumping events of the season took place on Sunday at Auteuil in the form of the G1 Prix Renaud du Vivier (Grande Course de Haies des 4 Ans) Hurdle (3900m) for four-year olds and a fascinating field lined up. There was a difference in opinion on where the best ground was with the field spread across the track throughout. Six runners were positioned to win as the field entered the home-straight, but it was the son of Martaline, Moises Has, who took glory despite a bad error at the final hurdle. He showed plenty of determination to deny James du Berlais and the win gave a third success in this event in the last twenty years for trainer François Nicolle and big race fame for jockey Steven Colas.   

Garbure had a rough passage in the closing stages of the Listed Prix Marc Antony Handicap Hurdle (3900m) for four-year olds, but she was not daunted and powered on for a three-length win.   

The G3 Prix Sytaj Steeplechase (4300m) for four and five-year-old mares went the way of Irja Has for jockey Nicolas Gauffenic and trainer Marcel Rolland. The five-year-old made gradual headway throughout and responded well when under pressure on the far side to stay on best.   


The star of the show on Thursday at Vincennes – Face Time Bourbon – obliged and retained his title as the best horse currently in training. Driver Björn Goop steered him to win again by setting the pace throughout and the combination did not see any rival in the G2 Prix Marcel Laurent (2100m) for four and five-year olds. This was a 25th Group winner for trainer Sébastien Guarato. Pure class.   

The G3 mounted Prix Olry-Roederer (2850m) for four-year olds also went the way of a well-supported contender in the shape of the barefooted, Gladys des Plaines (winner of the G3 mounted Prix Legoux-Longpré over the same course and distance in August.) It was another performance making all the running for driver Mathieu Mottier and trainer Gilles Curens.   

Heartbreaker One denied the well supported Héros de Fleur as the son of Alto de Viette had an extra gear to clear away from his rivals in good style in the opening contest on Saturday afternoon at Vincennes in the G2 mounted Prix Louis Tillaye (2700m) for three-year olds.  

Driver Eric Raffin went one place better thirty-five minutes later in the G2 Prix Reine du Corta (2175m) for three-year-old fillies as Hirondelle Sibey took success and added another Group win after the G2 Prix Uranie at the same course and distance in August.  

Eric Raffin made it a quick-fire double in the G3 Prix du Languedoc (2850m) for six to ten-year olds with the barefooted, Milliondollarrhyme. The six-year-old gelding changed paths in the final 100m under a great drive to sneak up on the inside to score.  

The quality action kept on coming at Vincennes on Saturday as Hohneck finished off very strongly on the outside for a perfectly timed challenge to snatch victory from Hooker Berry and the weakening long-time leader Helgafell (odds-on and previous G1 winner) in the G2 Prix Abel Bassigny (2175m) for three-year-old colts. It was a notable success for driver Yoann Lebourgeois alongside trainer Philippe Allaire who had four of the eleven runners in the G2 event.  


Last Tuesday, Chantilly hosted the Listed Prix Yacowlef (1100m) for two-year olds. The field divided and at halfway both groups appeared to be evenly placed. However, inside the final 400m, it proved that it was the far side was the location to be as the first two came from that group. Suesa took success in good style for jockey Olivier Peslier and trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias by two lengths from Total Knockout.   

Toulouse staged two black type races on Wednesday which were run on heavy ground. The feature contests began with the Listed Critérium du Languedoc - Prix Bernard de Marmiesse (1600m) for two-year-olds. Olivier Peslier gaimed another Black type event steering home UK raider Belloccio. The David Menuisier trained colt was prominent throughout and showed a good attitude to extend away in the final 100m to gain Black type status at only his second start after winning at Salisbury (UK) in novice company five weeks previous.   

Haras du Quesnay sire, Anodin gained a third individual Group winner last Wednesday (with Anodor and Neige Blanche previously winning G3 events) as Toulouse’s G3 Prix Fille de l'Air (2100m) for fillies and mares three year olds and above went the way of Directa. The three-year-old made gradual progress on the final turn for a clear run down the straight and was able to fend off multiple challenges with the filly showing a great mind set in a busy finish.  

The Listed Prix Denisy (3100m) for three-year olds and above on Friday at Saint Cloud required stamina with the race run on heavy going. The three-year-old filly, Karlarina was settled close to the pace tracking the leader throughout under jockey Théo Bachelot who made a decisive move to come stand side to fend off the threat from Sheraz. It was a notable success for trainer Stéphanie Nigge and for sire, Le Havre. This performance gave him a forty first individual stakes winner. Le Havre, the stallion of five individual Group One winners, will stand for a fee of €40,000 in 2021.  

On Saturday Marseilles Borely hosted the Listed Grand Prix de Marseille - 13e Etape du Défi du Galop (2000m) for three-year olds and above. The Rossi family achieved a one-two with Cédric training the winner Skazino, who came from last to first in the home straight. His uncle, Frédéric, was second with Kenway who delivered a challenge in the final 200m for a thrilling finish. This gave stallion, Kendargent his thirty-third individual stakes winner. Skazino was recording a ninth victory in twenty starts and it was a fourth success over course and distance. The colt is the third foal out of Skallet, making him a brother to G2 winner Skalleti and the Listed placed Skalleto clearly shows ability and potential future promise. Kendargent will stand at Haras de Colleville for a reduced fee of €10,000 next year.