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Prix du Jockey Club - A Stallion Making Race?

10 May 2021

The G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) or “French Derby” is often seen as the summer focal point of the French flat racing season. The event tends to crown one of the best European three-year-old colts of the season and has become a major pointer in the international breeding scene.   

It is not hard to see that winning the G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) stands a horse in brilliant stead for his stallion career. Since the distance of the race was reduced from 2400m to 2100m in 2005, winners indicate how important the race has become on the international breeding circuit with the likes of: Lope De Vega, Le Havre, Lawman, Shamardal, Intello and New Bay all taking the stallion scene by storm.   

 The likes of Almanzor, Study of Man, Sottsass and latest G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) winner Mishriff, all fit the bill in terms of pedigree and form on the track to become possible leading stallion prospects. Almanzor made the perfect start to fulfilling his ability at stud when his first runner, Faro De San Juan, made a winning debut in the Prix du Soleil de Bretagne over 1100m at Chantilly on Monday.   

So, bar being victorious in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) what do all these great stallions have in common? 

It is clear despite showing excellent ability on the racecourse a horse’s pedigree is vitally important. The significance of a horse’s page when competing in this high-class Group One can be seen from how past winners continue to supply similar top-class performers well-suited to the test of Chantilly’s 2100m track. Shamardal was the first winner since the decision was made by France Galop to shorten the distance of the race to 2100m in 2005. Despite criticism from traditionalists the move looks to have strengthened the race in terms of depth,  luring classic milers up in trip to take on the very best. The late great Shamardal produced 2010 winner Lope De Vega, whilst 2003 scorer Dalakhani (when the race was run over 2400m) sired the 2011 winner Reliable Man for the same trainer, Alain de Royer Dupre.   

The reduction in trip has changed what races are seen as a good guide for this ultimate three-year-old test. The G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m) has undoubtedly become an excellent starting point for the feature 2100m event at Chantilly with the past winners Shamardal, Lope De Vega and Brametot all successfully completing the double whilst 2019 winner Persian King went on to finish runner-up. Most recently, the 2020 G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m) first two home (Victor Ludorum and The Summit) filled second and third spots in the Classic 2100m contest.   

This however is not just the only guide as the G3 Prix La Force (2000m) at Longchamp in April can provide a solid pointer. Won by owner-breeders Wertheimer et Frère for the past three years, 2020 winner Pao Alto went on to run a respectable sixth in the event whilst second placed Ocean Atlantique and Chachnak also lined up. Perhaps, the best recent example is when 2018 runner-up Study of Man went on to deny Patascoy by half-a-length at Chantilly.   

As ever this year’s G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) is sure to consist of a high-quality field full of potential racing and stallion prospects.  

Of the stallions, Shamardal and Lope De Vega were previous winners in of both the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m) and G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) and they both have a number of produce scattered across the early entry stage for the 1600m classic in May.  

It should also be noted that 2021 G3 Prix La Force (2000m) victor Adhamo, is sired by 2013 G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) winner Intello. It would therefore be no surprise were one of these previous winners were to sire a 2021 G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) contender. When finding the winner a key eye should be kept on both the G3 Prix La Force (2000m) and G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m).