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News In Brief

17 November 2021


Absent since December, 2020, Bilibili (Niky) will make his racecourse comeback in the G2 Prix de Bretagne (2700m), the first qualifier for the G1 Prix d’Amerique (2700m). He will race here in preparation for a tilt at a third mounted G1 Prix de Cornulier (2700m) success in January.   

Pascal Joly

Sunday’s meeting in Nantes last week was mourned by the death of driver and trainer Pascal Joly during a trotting race. The 62-year-old passed away after collapsing in the sulky. He and his wife, Nathalie, created and developed Haras du Greny in Saint-Gildas-des-Bois, a few kilometres from Pontchâteau in Loire-Atlantique.  

Prix de Bretagne

The first qualification event for the Prix d’Amerique takes place this Sunday (November 21) at Vincennes. Imperious two-time winner of the Legend race, Face Time Bourbon (Ready Cash), looks set to compete in the Prix de Bretagne which is a change to his usual preparation. The last time a Prix d’Amerique winner started the Winter Meeting campaign in this qualifier was indeed Face Time Bourbon’s sire, Ready Cash (Indy de Vive) in 2012.  


Announced by the Council Administration of LeTrot last Monday, works will begin during the winter to improve the Enghien racetrack. Upgrades to the track will be completed before racing resumes in March, 2022.  

Eric Raffin

The leading driver won his 300th race of the year in France, courtesy of Geny Speedhycat (Voltigeur de Myrt). He has a month and a half to beat the calendar year record he shares with Jean-Michel Bazire (349).   

Jean-Yves Artu

With great sadness, the death of Jean-Yves Artu was announced last Friday (November 12), following a heart attack. The 61-year-old was an excellent jockey and trainer in Auteuil, as well as Lamorlaye, where he prepared champion Amour A Papa (Montmartre), runner-up in the G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) in 2014.  

Gu d’Héripré

After suffering a crack in his fetlock at the end of April, Gu d’Héripré is set to make his eagerly-awaited return in the G2 Prix du Bourbonnais (2850m), staged at Vincennes on December 12.   

Izoard Védaquais

The Philippe Allaire-trained Izoard Védaquais (Bird Parker) remains unbeaten after an effortless all-the-way success at Nantes. Eric Raffin barely had to move to guide the star to his eleventh victory. Arguably the best youngster in France, he is yet to be seriously tested but is set to step up in class during the winter.  

Sulky World Cup

Two new Grade One trotting races have been created to be run on Prix d’Amerique day Sunday, January 30: the Prix Ourasi for four-year-olds and Prix Bold Eagle for five-year-olds. To qualify for these races, several Group Two events have been opened, including to foreign trotters.  


The Aga Khan’s exceptional mare, Tarnawa, has been retired following her downfield run inthe G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf (2400m). The Dermot Weld-trained daughter of Shamardal won three top-tier races including a brace of Group One victories in France – scoring in the Prix Vermeille (2400m) prior to a determined neck success in the Prix de l’Opera (2000m) in 2020. She finished a valiant runner-up in this season’s G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe behind Torquator Tasso (Adlerflug) and will be starting a new career as part of the Aga Khan’s Broodmare empire.  

Willie Mullins

A trio of high-class prospects are heading to the Willie Mullins stable in Closutton. Three-year-old Quais de Paris (Masked Marvel), who ran third debuting at Compiegne, sold for €180,000 at the Arqana Autumn Sale. The unbeaten four-year-old Houlanbatordechais (Great Pretender) fetched €150,000, whilst Group Two placer at Saint-Cloud Alastor (Helmet) also reached €150,000.  

James du Berlais

The Simon and Isaac Souede-owned James du Berlais will not race this season after a setback, according to trainer Willie Mullins. He finished ninth in the G1 Champion Hurdle (3300m) at Cheltenham last season before running second in the G1 Champion Stayers Hurdle (4800m) at Punchestown. The son of Muhtathir had finished runner-up in the G1 Prix Renaud du Vivier (3900m) at Auteuil previously.  

Golden Whip

Mickaël Barzalona is one winner ahead of Maxime Guyon in the French jockey standings. He looks set to win a first Golden Whip of his career with the news that his rival will be absent riding abroad in December.  


Three new lots have been revealed for the sale on December 4, notably Rougir (Territories), who scored in the G1 Prix de l’Opera (2000m) at Longchamp last month. Second is fellow Grade One winner - Grand Glory (Olympic Glory) – who’s greatest triumph came in the Prix Jean Romanet (2000m) this season. Grade One-winning broodmare Rosanara (Sinndar) completes the high-class trio set to be sold.  


After displaying a hint of quirkiness when making a winning debut over hurdles at Fontainebleau, Delante (Walk In The Park) has been exported to the Tom Cooper stable in Ireland. She is a sister of Star Face, who is the mother of eight-time Grade One winner Douvan.  

Cristian Demuro

The star jockey is set to partner Grand Glory in the Japan Cup at Tokyo over 2400m at the end of this month.   


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