French Racing and Trotting - Weekly Round-Up

Weekly Round-Up of French Racing and Trotting - 4th May 2021.

Picture: (Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

It has been a busy week with all three codes having Black type races with highlights including Longchamp's Sunday programme, Auteuil last Friday, Argentan's big day plus much more...


Date Wednesday 28 April
Venue La Teste (Good)
Race R6 – G3 Sheikh Mansoor Festival - Prix Dormane (1900m)
Type For four-year-old pure Arab breds
Winner Abbes
Jockey Olivier Peslier
Trainer Thomas Fourcy
Breeding TM Fred Texas x Raqiyah
Second  Munir du Soleil
Third  Hoggar De L'Ardus
Lacking early speed, the four-year-old settled midfield throughout the contest. However, as the field entered the home straight, he was able to receive a clear run and the grey proved too strong putting a nose in front and producing the first of three home for trainer Thomas Fourcy.


Date Wednesday 28 April
Venue Saint Cloud (Good)
Race R6 – G3 Prix d'Estruval (2500m)
Type For four- and five-year-olds fillies and Mares. Pure Arab breds.
Winner Hester d'Athon
Jockey Christopher Grosbois
Trainer Alain Couétil
Breeding Doctor Dino x Victoire d'Athom
Second  Gazelle d'Authie
Third  Génola
Settled in mid-field throughout with the four year old filly showing a good attitude at the finish to make headway and fight off rivals for a cosy success to remain unbeaten from two career outings.


Date Saturday 1 May
Venue Saint Cloud (Good to soft)
Race R4 – G2 Prix Greffulhe (2100m)
Type For three year olds only
Winner Baby Rider
Jockey Stéphane Pasquier
Trainer Pascal Bary
Breeding Gleneagles x Gyrella
Second Smile Makers
Third Martial Eagle
Baby Rider gained a hat trick while winning Black type status after the son of Gleneagles was prominent from start to finish. He had to dig deep to overcome Smile Makers as they duelled out the final 400m.  This provided Coolmore Stud-based stallion Gleneagles his ninth stakes winner. Baby Rider holds an interesting pedigree with being a sister to 2017 G1 Epsom Derby (2400m) winner Wings Of Eagles (Pour Moi).


Date Saturday 1 May
Venue Saint Cloud
Race R5 – G2 Prix du Muguet (1600m)
Type For four-year-olds and above
Winner Duhail
Jockey Vincent Cheminaud
Trainer André Fabre
Breeding Lope de Vega x Single
Second Prêtreville
Third Victor Ludorum
Duhail was simply the best in the feature at Saint Cloud when the five-year-old gelding drew away by one and a half lengths for a seventh win in thirteen outings. This meant it was an 80th stakes level victory for stallion Lope De Vega.


Date Saturday 1 May
Venue Saint Cloud
Race R6 – G3 Prix Cléopâtre (2100m)
Type For three-year-old fillies
Winner Harajuku
Jockey Stéphane Pasquier
Trainer André Fabre
Breeding Deep Impact et Phaenomena
Second Incarville
Third Crohanne
The three-year-old daughter of Deep Impact accelerated past pace setter Incarville nicely in the final 150m delivering a cosy triumph for a second visit to the winners enclosure in five starts. The late Shadai Stallion station-based stallion, Deep Impact had his 173rd stakes winner with this G3 success.


Date Sunday 2 May
Venue Longchamp (Good)
Race R2 – Listed Prix Finlande (1800m)
Type For three-year-old fillies
Winner Petricor
Jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot
Trainer Andre Fabre
Breeding Frankel X Ruscombe
Second Sky Sister
Third Roman Bambe
The Juddmonte owned-Petricor was off the mark at stakes level when becoming Frankel's 65th individual stakes winner. This Andre Fabre-trained filly was strongly fancied for the Listed contest following a promising second in the G3 Prix Vanteaux (1800m) last month. The daughter of Frankel justified favouritism with a short-neck defeat of Sky Sister. Frankel stands at Juddmonte's Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket for a fee of £175,000


Date Sunday 2 May
Venue Longchamp
Race R3 – Listed Prix Du Pont Neuf (1400m)
Type For three-year-olds only
Winner Coachello
Jockey/Driver Olivier Peslier
Trainer Romain Le Dren Doleuze
Breeding Dunkerque X Rock Harmonie 
Second Erasmo 
Third Go Athletico 
The daughter of Dunkerque was always well-positioned by Olivier Peslier as the pair sat in second position for much of the journey. The three-year-old gelding quickened up nicely to run out a comfortable winner. Sire Dunkerque was a progressive sprinter in France and a full brother to Group One winner Dedication. He currently stands for a fee of €2,000.


Date Sunday 2 May
Venue Longchamp
Race R5 – Listed Prix De L'avre (2400m)
Type For three-year-olds only
Winner Fenelon
Jockey/Driver Stephane Pasquier
Trainer N. Clement
Breeding Fastnet Rock X Aigue Marine 
Second Soldier Rising
Third The Famous Five
The Nicolas Clement-trained Fenelon was held up in the rear for most of the journey but came with a well-timed push to take up the running just past the 300m pole. The son of Fastnet Rock quickly put distance between himself and the rest of the field to run out a comfortable one-and-a-half-length winner. The three-year-old is by a champion Australian sprinter and out of a Galileo mare, Aigue Marine. Fastnet Rock currently stands at Coolmore Stud for a fee of €50,000.


Date Sunday 2 May
Venue Longchamp
Race R7 – G3 Prix Allex France (2000m)
Type For four-year-old and above (Fillies and mares only)
Winner Ebaiyra
Jockey/Driver Christohpe Soumillon
Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre
Breeding Distorted Humour X Ebiyza
Second Raabihah
Third All Rumours
The Aga Khan-owned four-year-old was keen enough in a race run at a moderate tempo. However, the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained filly still managed to come with a late sustained effort to run down favourite Raabihah. By top US dirt miler Distorted Humour and out of an Aga Khan mare Ebiyza, the already Group One placed filly looks capable of further progression as the season goes on.
Date Sunday 2 May
Venue Longchamp
Race R8 – G3 Prix de Barbeville (3100m)
Type For four year olds and above
Winner Skazino
Jockey/Driver Mickael Barzalona 
Trainer Cedric Rossi
Breeding Kendargent X Skallet
Second Sheraz
Third Karlarina
Skazino ran out a ready four-and-a-half length winner of the 3100m G3 on Sunday. Always towards the rear under the patient Mickael Barzalona the pair came with a sustained effort to take up the running past the 450m pole. The son of Kendargent lengthened away nicely to put daylight between himself and the rest of the field. A full brother to the high-class Skaletti the five-year-old looks to be improving with age and should be capable of stepping up in grade in the future.


Date Thursday 29 April
Venue Compiègne (Heavy)
Race R1 – Listed Prix Gaston Branère handicap hurdle (2600m)
Type Hurdle, for four-year-olds
Winner Martator
Jockey Paul Moreau
Trainer Joël Boisnard
Breeding Martaline x Tornada
Second  Colbert du Berlais
Third  Karuso de Gruchy
Martator travelled favourably on the inside throughout and jumped to perfection landing this Listed prize. He showed good speed towards the final hurdle and stretched clear from the field for a second success after nine starts to remain unbeaten at the track.


Date Thursday 29 April
Venue Compiègne
Race R5 – G3 Prix Hopper steeplechase (3800m)
Type Steeplechase, for four-year-olds
Winner Gold Tweet
Jockey Johnny Charron
Trainer Gabriel Leenders
Breeding On Est Bien x Goldance
Second  Lina Rez
Third  Hawai Tree
Gold Tweet came from last to first to win the feature at Compiegne with the added challenge of a loose horse to contend with in the closing stages. However, Johnny Charron steered the gelding to the grandstand rail and powered clear for a twelve-length victory.


Date Friday 30 April
Venue Auteuil (Very Soft)
Race R1 – Listed Prix Girofla Hurdle (3000m)
Type Hurdle, for three-year old fillies only
Winner Les Yeux Vert
Jockey Gaëtan Masure
Trainer François Nicolle
Breeding Martaline x Fleurs des Yeux
Second  Sideralis
Third  Lady Martaline
Les Yeux Vert looked a very smart prospect in the opening race at Auteuil drawing clear to win by 20 lengths. The daughter of Martaline now remains unbeaten in two lifetime outings coming both at Auteuil over 3000m including a debut triumph four weeks prior to this eye-catching win.


Date Friday 30 April
Venue Auteuil
Race R2 – Listed Prix Go Ahead Hurdle (3000m)
Type Hurdle, for three-year-old colts only
Winner Impressive
Jockey Johnny Charron
Trainer H&G. Lageneste & Macaire
Breeding Kapgarde x Terrific
Second  Tonguetted
Third  Latino des Isles
Owner,  Mme Patrick Papot gained a quick-fire double at Auteuil with Impressive, a five-length winner to keep the perfect record intact – of now three victories from three starts. The three-year-old son of Kapgarde is open to further progress and looks one to note.


Date Friday 30 April
Venue Auteuil
Race R3 – G3 Prix Ingré Chase (4400m)
Type Steeplechase, for five-year-olds and above
Winner Le Berry
Jockey Kévin Nabet
Trainer David Cottin
Breeding Gémix x Kalberry
Second  Feu Follet
Third  Figuéro
Last season's top four-year-old chaser continued the trend of high-grade form when gaining a ninth career success in ten attempts. Despite a small field, the class dominated and there was a decent pace throughout. Le Berry was tested at some of the fences where he had to fully extend out. When the field turned for home, Le Berry appeared to be going best but there was a scare for Kévin Nabet when he stumbled on landing two out. Luckily, he recovered and displayed his superiority fighting back to pass Feu Follet in the last stride.


Date Friday 30 April
Venue Auteuil
Race R4 – G3 Grande Course de Haies de Printemps handicap Hurdle (4300m)
Type Handicap Hurdle, for five-year-olds and above
Winner Gex
Jockey James Reveley
Trainer Emmanuel Clayeux
Breeding Khalkevi x Mexcala
Second King of Run
Third Anouma Freedom
Despite being held up behind, Gex got the luck that was required to come down the centre of the track in a wide-open handicap hurdle. As they landed over the last obstacle, there was still six chances but James Reveley's mount had a little extra in the run in to get the better of King of Run.


Date Friday 30 April
Venue Auteuil
Race R6 – G2 Prix Amadou Hurdle (3900m)
Type Hurdle, for four-year-olds
Winner Hermès Baie
Jockey Bertrand Lestrade
Trainer François Nicolle
Breeding Crillon et Ludmika
Second Raffles Face
Third Gallipoli
Hermès Baie continued to show promise landing his fourth victory from seven racecourse appearances. This time Bertrand Lestrade made a bold decision to be the only one to be on the inside of the track down the back straight which paid off at the finish. In the final 600m, the leading trio opened by fifteen lengths and proved a class above the rest. Hermès Baie however quickened again and proved one of the best four year old Hurdlers in France


Date Friday 30 April
Venue Auteuil
Race R9 – Listed Prix Philippe Ménager Steeplechase (4400m)
Type Steeplechase, for four-year-olds only
Winner Yes Indeed
Jockey James Reveley
Trainer H&G. Lageneste & Macaire
Breeding Martaline x She Hates Me
Second Hades
Third Chorail Debelair
Yes Indeed jumped beautifully to take the final race on the programme despite James Reveley needing to knuckle down on the four year old to justify strong market support.


Date Tuesday 27 April 2021
Venue Vincennes
Race R5 – G2 Sulky Summer Races 3 Ans – Qualifier one (Prix Paul Karle) (2100m)
Type Driven, for three-year-old colts
Winner Italiano Vero
Driver David Thomain
Trainer Philippe Allaire
Breeding Ready Cash x Baraka d'Henlou
Second Idéal Ligneries
Third In The Money
The three-year-old son of Ready Cash almost made all under David Thomain justifying strong market support and gaining a seventh success from eleven career outings.  A narrow margin was secured over the persistent challenge of Idéal Ligneries. The progressive Italiano Vero recorded a kilometre rating of 1"12"2.


Date Tuesday 27 April
Venue Vincennes
Race R7 – G2 Sulky Summer Races 3 Ans – Qualifier two (Prix Masina) (2100m)
Type Driven autostart for three-year-old fillies
Winner It's Now or Never
Driver Franck Nivard
Trainer Philippe Allaire
Breeding Charly du Noyer x Deep Purple
Second Inoubliable
Third Illusive Artist
Three-year-old daughter of Charly du Noyer, It's Now or Never recorded a fourth career success in eleven attempts. She produced a great fourth in the G1 Prix Comte Pierre de Montesson (2700m) at the Winter Meeting and appears to be one to keep in mind.


Date Wednesday 28 April
Venue Maure-de-Bretagne
Race R1 – G3 Grand Prix de Maure-de-Bretagne (Grand National du Trot) (2850m)
Type Driven, for five- to ten-year-olds
Winner Crack Money
Driver Cédric Terry
Trainer Patrick Terry
Breeding Singalo x Quiona
Second  Epsom d'Herfraie
Third  Golden Bridge
Crack Money proved age was no barrier gaining a seventeenth career success at the age of nine from 43 attempts. Always close to the pace he had a clear route to burst home in the final 200m overcoming Epsom d'Herfraie in the final strides.


Date Friday 30 April
Venue Vincennes
Race R5 – G3 Prix Antigone (2850m)
Type Mounted, for five- to ten-year-olds
Winner Freeman de Houelle
Driver Eric Raffin
Trainer Franck Leblanc
Breeding Vigove et Rafina de Houelle
Second Byrh Gédé
Third Edition Géma
Barefooted six-year-old, Freeman de Houelle continued Eric Raffin's flying form on Friday afternoon at Vincennes. (Where he had four winners). There was a strong pace throughout but Freeman de Houelle kicked clear inside the final 400m to be a comprehensive winner and gain a hat trick after success in the G3 Prix Cornelia (2850m) and the G2 Prix Louis Forcinal (2700m).


Date Sunday 2 May
Venue Argentan
Race R8 – G2 Critérium de Vitesse de Basse-Normandie (1609m)
Type Autostart driven, International for four- to ten-year-olds
Winner Ce Bello Romain
Driver Mathieu Mottier
Trainer Sylvain Gérard Dupont
Breeding Jam Pridem x Miss Echo Bella
Second Valokaja Hindö
Third Digne et Droit
One of the biggest events of the year at Argentan did not disappoint with a great finish to this Group Two contest. Nine-year-old, Ce Bello Romain was always prominent tracking Bahia Quesnot (who eventually finished fourth) and in the home straight, Mathieu Mottier had a clear passage on the outside to sweep past the field in an eye-catching manner. The gelding had a successful Winter including at Vincennes with a success in the G3 Prix du Plateau de Gravelle (2100m).

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