Etrier d’Or series finals to live up to billing

22 June 2024

Philippe Allaire's rising star Lovissime

The monté spotlight will be trained on the 3, 4, and 5 year-old generations during Sunday’s Champions’ Day with the Etrier d’Or series finals, each race a Gr.1 and each as prestigious as the next.

The Prix d’Essai, run over the classic distance of 2700m, is the first monté Gr.1 on the calendar for 3 year-olds and, dating from 1865, also one of the oldest. Names engraved on its trophy include Gai Brillant (1997), Booster Winner (2014), and Fado Du Chêne (2018). 

Winner in 2023 with Kyt KatMathieu Mottier sends out and rides Little Orélie who stormed up in the Gr.2 Prix Gamare last month. Exacting revenge on Lexie De Banville and Lyzia Des Agets that day, the only horses to have beaten her this year, she has every chance of repeating. Lutin Des BordesLucky Sibey, and Lovissime are others for the shortlist.

Restricted to 4 year-olds, the Prix du Président de la République covers the more taxing 2850m. Names such as Bellino II (1971), Holly Du Locton (1999), and Bilibili (2015) grace the list of past winners. 

Kyt Kat, triumphant in the Prix d’Essai this day last year, will endeavour to complete the double, a feat last achieved by Scipion Du Goutier in 2009-2010. Standing in his way, however, is the resurgent Kelly De Banville who had his measure in the Gr.2 Prix Lavater, and may again have the upper hand. Prix de Vincennes winner, Kalif Landia is never to be underestimated, while Karma and Kyrielle Des Vaux will also garner support.

Five year-olds are obliged to cover the seldom-used distance of 3000m in the Prix de Normandie. Won 4 times in the past 9 editions by Adrien Lamy, the talented Breton can make it 2 in 3 years for Franck Leblanc should Jus De Fruit get his nose in front. This will be a big ask in the face of some serious opposition, notably Jéroboam d'Erable who flew up in the Gr.2 Prix Victor Cavey. Third that day, Jean Balthazar is more competitively-shod this time and can turn the tables. Other notables include Jasper Des Charmes and monté debutant, Jason.

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