Monday, june 6, 2016

176th edition of the Prix du Jockey Club : Almanzor sacred at Chantilly

 

The Prix du Jockey Club, Group 1 for 3yo horses and first episode of the EpiqE series, sacred the colt Almanzor, Sunday at Chantilly. He was ridden by Jean-Bernard Eyquem and trained by the trainer from Pau Jean-Claude Rouget. The colt is owned by Antonio Caro and Gérard Augustin-Normand. Almanzor had a good race, in the middle of the lot and he took the advantage two hundred metres from the post. He then detached himself brilliantly, finishing more than a length in front of Zarak. The son of the champion Zarkava wasn’t helped by his draw (number 16) and he had to wait at the back of the field. He does a very good straight, like Dicton who was supplemented to participate in this race and who takes the third place.Talismanic, always seen among the first ones, keeps the fourth place in front of Apilobar, good finisher on the inside.

Almanzor offers a second Prix du Jockey Club to Jean-Claude Rouget, seven years after the success of Le Havre. The association between Antonio Caro and Gérard Augustin-Normand already succeeded this year with La Cressonnière, winner of the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, but also Avenir Certain, who won both the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane in 2014.

The connections’ reactions :

Jean-Claude Rouget, trainer of Almanzor (1st) and Mekhtaal (not placed)

“Almanzor only had a bad race, the Critérium de Saint-Cloud, a race I did not want to run… He got to know the track in the Prix de Guiche, was in great form and had a good draw… He is a real horse for good grounds. For the rest of his program, I still don’t know. Whereas Mekhtaal, he was never in the race. He lacks of maturity.”

Jean-Bernard Eyquem, jockey of Almanzor (1st) 

“I am 40 years old, it was getting long! At last, I won a Jockey Club. I had a dream race. We came on the inside after cantering patiently. He really propelled himself. He is a champion.”

Alain de Royer Dupré, trainer of Zarak (2nd)

“We are very pleased with the horse and Christophe [Soumillon, ndlr] rode beautifully well. He may have been a victim of his draw. Christophe had to hold him back a little but the winner wins well. The race did not go that fast so it was a little complicated to come back. He seems to have had a hard time finding his balance. But I did not have a doubt on his physical condition, he was calm. Zarak has an important potential for the stud thanks to his pedigree. I don’t have an idea yet for the rest of his program.”

Gianluca Bietolini, trainer of Dicton (3rd)

“Dicton was very professional. In the ring, he was perfect. I am very pleased of his race, he behaved well and finished well too. He also held the distance. We will talk with the owners to see what we will do with him next.”

Rupert Pritchard-Gordon, representative of Dicton’s owner (3rd)

“Dicton was very, very courageous and he finished well. We had to make him wait at the back. His performance is great. His trainer did a very good work with him. I think we will keep him in France because it is the second time he ends up in the finish of a classic and he deserves to be a stallion in France. Now, he should take a little rest. He could run again in August or September. We will see with his trainer.”

 

John Ferguson, representative of Floodlight’s owner (4th)

“He is a very brave horse and he travelled well. We are delighted with that. It’s a horse we will have some fun with. We decided to run him in the Jockey Club because André Fabre is the master, he doesn’t need me to tell him. He could possibly run in the Grand Prix de Paris.”

Fabrice Vermeulen, trainer of Apilobar (5th)

“The horse was victim of his draw, the most on the outside one… Cristian Demuro rode a beautiful race but did not have any other choice than holding him back in order to place him on the inside rail. The horse runs very well and confirms he hadn’t showed the real Apilobar in the Prix Greffulhe. He will be better on longer and we will run the Grand Prix de Paris (Gr1), on the 14th July.”

Charles Gourdain, trainer of Golden Bridge (6th)

“With his owners, we are very happy and we don’t regret coming here. He proves today he is a quality horse. He was very well ridden by David Morisson: the colt was relaxed and he was right, in Chantilly, to keep his line rather than try and go to the left or right. If it opened earlier we may have finished fourth or fifth. Golden Bridge is defeated by very good horses and he proves we can stay positive.”

Antoine de Watrigant, trainer of Royal Julius (7th)

“Now we know which is the best distance for him. The 2,100 metres are a bit long… In France, he is better over the mile and maybe 1,800 metre. But the colt runs well, he may have stagnated a little at the end. He would have needed a better paced race. I think he will be perfect in races with rhythm and over 2,000 metres, so abroad! But we are used to travelling anyway.”

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