Weekly Round Up
12 January 2021
It was another quality weekend in the Trotting calendar as Vincennes continued the Winter Meeting. Plus the jumping discipline had multiple Black Type races at the feature and final Cagnes-Sur-Mer jump meeting of their five week season.
Barefooted mare, Gladys des Plaines continued her great form when taking victory in the G2 International Mounted Prix Emile Riotteau (2700m) for five year olds on Saturday. The favourite was settled towards the rear of the field approximately eight lengths behind the leader. She commenced her run in the back straight where rider Mathieu Mottier broke away to be ten lengths ahead as they joined the inner track. She never saw a rival again and provided one of the most impressive victories of the Winter Meeting so far and remains on target for a start in the G1 Prix de Cornulier (2700m) at Vincennes on Sunday week.
In the four-year-old driven feature, Hohneck stole the prize off Hirondelle Sibey in the final metres to deliver a success in the G2 International Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve (2700m). The leading contenders ran to their expected level as they made the frame. Hatchet Man attempted to lead throughout with Hooker Berry stalking a length behind in second. However, it was Hirondelle Sibey making gradual progress down the back straight to be joint leader as the field linked with the inner course. Driver Jean-Michel Bazire had no luck and was unable to gain a clear run after being held up on the inside. Eventually with 200m to go, Bazire secured a run for Hooker Berry, however the finishing speed from Hohneck was too strong.
The final trial for the mounted G1 Grand Prix De Cornulier (2700m) on Sunday week, 24 January, was a highlight of Sunday’s card at Vincennes with the running of the G2 International Mounted Prix du Calvados (2850m) for four- to eleven-year-olds. Fado du Chêne battled hard to find glory for rider Paul Ploquin and trainer Julien Le Mer. He found himself outside in the opening section to be six horses wide on the first turn.
Runner up, Freeman de Houelle sprinted ahead with a circuit to go and went clear for a seven-length lead. His advantage was eroded in the back straight with the eventual winner passing rivals inside the 1000m. A sudden burst of speed on the final corner from the son of Singalo allowed him to power on and in a great duel secure a small margin triumph.
Trainer, Richard Chotard gained a quick-fire double on Sunday at Cagnes-Sur-Mer when successful in the first Black Type contest, the Listed Prix André Masséna Grande Course de Haies des 4 Ans Hurdle (3500m) for four-year olds. It was a dramatic event where Diamond Cruz galloped into the railings in the first 200m. Le Petit Nice, a son of Top Trip jumped economically throughout saving time and ground to breeze past Thurstan just before the final obstacle. A clear victory for jockey Ludovic Philipperon was achieved.
There was a well named winner of the Listed Grande Course de Haies de Cagnes Hurdle (4300m) for five-year olds and above as Tenerife Sea had an extra gear of stamina to be a decisive winner at the coastal track. Jockey Christopher Couillaud rode the daughter of No Risk At All patiently when held up in a race contested in contrasting speeds. This was the first leg of a treble on the card for trainer Pierre Fertillet.
There was a surprise result in the Listed Prix Christian de l'Hermite Grand Steeple-Chase des 4 Ans Steeplechase (3800m) for four year olds as Highlands d'Allier came home an impressive seven length winner for Johnny Charron and Philippe & Camille Peltier. The runner up, Heniway set a very strong pace on the heavy ground with the placegetters always close to lead. There was a nasty unseat for jockey, Dylan Ubeda onboard Patricien. During the second circuit, the field had to be weaved to the outer half of the fence whilst Dylan Ubeda was being treated.
The feature steeplechase of the programme (and season) was the G3 Grand Prix de la Ville de Nice - Bernard Sécly Steeplechase (4600m) for five-year-olds and above. Held up at the rear of the field, Berjou under Nathalie Desoutter for David Windrif jumped well at almost every obstacle. However, as the field turned into the home straight, the son of Holy Roman Emperor was ten lengths behind and under pressure. With the leaders beginning to tire following the strong gallop, Berjou gained confidence to flash past them all and secured a narrow success.
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