Jockey-Club picture still unclear

1 June 2024

Look De Vega winning at Longchamp last month

It’s the beginning of June and Derby fever is in the air. This Sunday, the magnificent Chantilly hosts the Prix du Jockey-Club, run over 2100m since 2005, and this year’s edition looks an uncommonly open affair. 

Whether hailing from across the Channel, the Irish Sea, or Deauville, it is clearly a field steeped in quality. So who, in 2024, will walk in the footsteps of Ace Impact?

On the French side, Fast Tracker, who was purchased by Wathnan Racing after winning the Listed Prix de Suresnes [by 7L], the same springboard used by Ace Impact 12 months ago, looks the home team’s best hope. His success would offer Alex Pantall a first French Derby, a race that has eluded him over a long and successful career.

Look De Vega has raced just twice but remains unbeaten. His successful seasonal bow at Longchamp augurs well for his prospects and while the bar is high for a race of this calibre, the Lerners know what is required to win it, Carlos having sent out Anabaa Blue to victory in 2001.

After an unremarkable return run in the Craven Stakes at NewmarketAlcantor ran a close third in the Poule d’Essai, and will be very much in focus, not just for the excellent season André Fabre is currently enjoying. Also from the same yard, the Wertheimer’s Sosie made short work of his first start back and looks a colt with significant untapped potential.

Carrying the same colours, but trained by Christophe FerlandAtlast comfortably won the Gr.3 Prix la Force on his first start of the season and, even having completely flopped in the Gr.3 Prix de Guiche, he has the profile of a very good horse and the fact that he is running means he is in with a chance, an outside chance. 

Winner of the Gr.3 Prix de Fontainebleau mid-April, Ramadan went on to run 5th in the Poule d’Essai and should have the capacity to finish in the mix.

Jean-Claude Rouget, who has sent out 5 of the last 8 winners, saddles three. Arrow Eagle is the younger half-brother to Ace Impact and takes his first steps beyond the ranks of conditions races. Grecian Storm ran third in the Prix de Guiche three weeks ago, while Wahdan will need to improve on his last-of-4 in the Prix de Suresnes.

Mondo ManFirst Look, and Dollar Index complete the French line-up.

Bookmakers’ favourite, Diego Velazquez spearheads the foreign contingent. Fourth in the Poule d’Essai, the trip may have been too short for him, but Sunday’s distance should be right up his street.

A month after a lacklustre Prix la Force performance, Sunway came close to winning the Gr.2 Prix Greffulhe a month later, and will appreciate any precipitation set to fall over the Chantilly track.

Unbeaten in 2023, Gr.2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner, Ghostwriter ran a creditable 4th in the Newmarket Guineas on his first start back, and over 2100m, he should have a very good hand to play.


Present, future titans clash in Prix René Ballière, Albert Viel

Idao De Tillard

22 June 2024

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