This week's round-up covers Group Two action at Vincennes, listed contests at Saint Cloud and a strong field in the G3 Prix Hypothèse at Auteuil...
Saturday's action at Vincennes started with the mounted G2 Prix Louis Forcinal (2700m) a race for five- and six-year-olds. It was the Franck Leblanc trained Freeman De Houelle who made-all for a commanding wide-margin victory. The son of Vigove was very consistent over the winter period and can continue to compete at Group level in this discipline.
Ce Bello Romain ran out a narrow winner in a thrilling renewal of the driven G3 Prix du Bois de Vincennes (2850m). The Sylvain Gérard Dupont-trained completed the hat-trick in dramatic fashion when coming from an uncompressing position to run down Bilooka Du Boscail and Moni Viking. This success brought up a twentieth career victory for the son of Jam Pridem.
The final group race of the day saw ten go to post in the driven G2 Prix Robert Avery (2850m). It was won by Gelati Cut who followed-up his G2 Prix Ovide Moulinet (2700m) success with a smooth one-length victory. The Romain-Christian Larue-trained five-year-old showed a smart turn of foot under a well-timed drive from Gabriele Gelormini. Gu D'Heripre and Green Grass finished second and third respectively. The son of Cocktail Jet looks sure to have an impact in similar driven contests going forward.
There was black-type action at Saint Cloud on Thursday as Le Havre sired the first two home in the Listed Prix De La Port De Madrid (2400m). It was the Mlle Stéphanie Nigge trained four-year-old filly who followed up her Listed win the Prix Denisy (3100m) at the same venue with a gutsy success. Theo Bachelot settled his mount in front and the filly showed a willing attitude coming home a neck in-front of Brokeback Mountain. The Aga Khan owned Sheraz finished a close-up third. Now four wins in eight outings, it would be no surprise for her to secure further black type soon.
Sunday saw a strong field of nine line up for the G3 hurdle Prix Hypothèse (3900m) featuring many of Auteuil's top-hurdlers. It was the Francois Nicolle trained L'Autonomie who regained the winning thread dropping in trip after finishing third in the G1 Grand Prix d'Automne (4900m). The resolute six-year-old mare was always handily positioned under rider Angelo Zuliani. Galop Marin ensured she faced a stiff challenge up the run in, however the daughter of Blue Brazil proved six-lengths too good.
The €350,000 G1 Grande Course de Haies d´Auteuil (5100m) on May 22nd is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the season and looks the next logical target for many of Sunday's runners.
The card was supported by the Listed Handicap Steeplechase Prix Lutteur III (4400m) where a sixteen strong field went to post. It was the Patrice Quinton-trained Fanfaron Special who ran out a two-and-a-half-length winner. The lightly raced-six-year-old son of Gentlewave can continue to be compete in handicaps of this nature over this trip going forward.