Skalleti delights Reynier as fine start to campaign continues

Champion Stakes runner-up leaves it late but wins with something in hand

Skalleti Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Skalleti 's superb start to the season continued as he claimed the Group Two Prix d'Harcourt at ParisLongchamp for Jerome Reynier and Gerald Mosse.

The six-year-old is treading a path back to the Champion Stakes at Ascot after finishing second behind Addeybb last year, but the stop-start pace of the race caused a few tense moments as the grey ran at the rear of the field and left himself plenty to do as the final two furlongs approached.

Forced to switch to the outside and make a late run, the gelding was game to rally to the line and prevail by a length as the odds-on favourite, with his jockey seemingly unconcerned as he gave his mount a pat just before the duo crossed the line.

Reynier explained how the tactics at Longchamp differ to those employed elsewhere, with the horse familiar enough with the track to mount a late attack and win from behind.

"We really want to keep him in his bubble, that's when he's at his best," he said.

"He got the draw one in the Champion Stakes (at Ascot) and we changed the tactics because it's really hard to make up ground at Ascot, and it was a good tactic because he ran a huge race.

"But today, at Longchamp, a track he knows really well, where he's unbeaten, we really wanted to keep him in his bubble and wait for the straight to come.

"We were confident because the horse was in good shape and he made a really good reappearance the other day in Saint-Cloud, it was just a matter getting his way through the others and he has done that perfectly."

Mosse told Sky Sports Racing: "To be honest, I was never scared.

"I take my time, I knew the pace was average, but good enough on soft ground like that.

"My horse has an extremely good turn of foot and I don't want to rush on that ground.

"The race was a bit on and off, that's why sometimes I was a bit far back, sometimes getting in closer.

"When I don't want to go around everybody I just take my time, get a shot on the turn and then just gradually take my time coming out – (I had) plenty of horse to the end.

"I ride him like nothing bad can happen, I take zero risks to make sure he will please everybody, especially me!"

Rumi caused an upset in the Group Three Prix Vanteaux when passing the highly-fancied Petricor to win at 11-1.

Both fillies are by Frankel, but it was the latter that came into the race as 7-5 favourite having won the Prix les Ammonites on her racecourse debut in August last year.

Rumi's form was less prolific, but trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias felt her fourth-placed run at Saint-Cloud at the start of the month was unrepresentative of her ability and will now aim the filly at Group One contests such as the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix de Diane.

"We ran eight days ago but she didn't run very well, I knew she really needed the race," he explained.

"She was a bit too fat and she did blow a lot after the race.

"I took it like a gallop, like a morning gallop, and she was very well after the race and eating well with a very good action, so that is why I decided to run her eight days after – it is not the kind of thing that I normally do.

"Now I think she will be better over a mile and a quarter, today she was beaten at the beginning of the straight and then she made the difference in the last furlong.

"We may go to the Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane now she is a Group winner, we've got to respect that she ran twice in eight days and we have to give her time."

Freddy Head's Adhamo made it four wins in a row when claiming a first Group-race success with victory in the Group Three Prix la Force.

The three-year-old took up the lead with two furlongs to run, pulling away from Andre Fabre's Erasmo to secure a three-length triumph under Maxime Guyon.

"We're very happy," said Pierre-Yves Bureau, racing manager for the Wertheimer brothers.

"Today was a test because he won nicely last time, of course it was not the same field of horses today and we are very pleased.

"It was good to see him over nine furlongs today, he won at 10 furlongs but I think he was just better than all those horses.

"There's a lot of speed in the family so that was interesting to see how he'd go on nine furlongs.

"We were very happy with that, of course. I think we are going to have a very nice year with a few promising horses, including this one."

There was then drama in the Group Three Prix Noailles as Cheshire Academy passed the post in second place but was awarded the race by the stewards after Pretty Tiger was deemed to have interfered with his chances and was subsequently demoted to second.

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