Olmedo: out to complete a classic double
Olmedo won the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains, the first of the French classics for colts, on May 13. This has now opened the door to a potential classic double if he can add the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club to his CV. Since the French Derby was reduced in distance to 2.100 metres in 2005, three colts have managed this and namely: Brametot in 2017, whose trainer Jean-Claude Rouget is responsible for Olmedo, plus Lope de Vega in 2010 and Shamardal in 2005.
The meteoric rise of Fabrice Chappet
Fabrice Chappet will be the French trainer with the greatest numerical representation as he saddles three runners: Intellogent, Dice Roll and Stable Genius. These will be the first runners of the Chantilly trainer in the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club. He has enjoyed great success in the last few seasons and, in 2017, he won his first classic following the triumph of Précieuse in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.
Pascal Bary attempts to emulate Alain de Royer Dupré
Alain de Royer Dupré is the most successful trainer in the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club among the current licence holders with six wins. However, he has no runners this year, and this gives Pascal Bary, who has trained five winners of the classic, an opportunity to match this achievement. Especially as he is responsible for two potential trump cards and namely: Study of Man, the impressive winner of the Prix Greffulhe (Group 2), and the rapidly improving Naturally High who carries the colours of Jean-Louis Bouchard.
Aidan O’Brien attempts to end on unenviable record
Aidan O’Brien established the world record last year for the number of group one winners (28) trained in a single season. However, one Group 1 race continues to elude him: the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club! It seems incredible to that the Irish maestro, despite the backing of the multinational concern Coolmore, has yet to win the « French Derby ». This year he saddles four runners and namely: Rostropovich, Hunting Horn, Flag of Honour and Kenya.
Pascal Bary: “Study of Man and Naturally High have had a perfect preparation”
Pascal Bary has won the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club five times. On Sunday he is represented by two potential trump cards as he bids to emulate Alain de Royer Dupré’s record of six wins in the classic*.
You are doubly represented in the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club but which of your colts is the number one hope?
Study of Man and Naturally High have had a perfect preparation – with each endowed with the quality to shine. They are indifferent to the state of the ground as both have won on a heavy track, although they have a preference for good ground. Although I’m of the opinion, unless things go terribly wrong, that the ground on Sunday will be no worse than soft. On the subject of which one I prefer, I don’t like rating my horses before a race…
What are the strong points of Study of Man?
He’s a super colt and one with a very good turn of foot. Furthermore, he is a very calm sort and easy to ride in a race. His pathway to the Jockey Club has been good. Although he was beaten on his return in the Prix La Force, the colt wasn’t fully wound up, and he has since trotted up in the Prix Greffulhe. He hasn’t had any hard races which is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Can Naturally High measure up to him?
Naturally High is a very strong colt and has only run one bad race: on his debut. That’s not his fault but mine as his introduction to racing came far too early. He has impressed in both his races this year and, on his last start, he came off the pace. I think he has had a good chance.
Among your five previous Jockey Club winners which one was the best?
In terms of pure class, Sulamani (winner in 2002) was the best. He was beaten in the Arc de Triomphe following a nightmare race.
* The latter has enjoyed six wins in this prestigious race, which puts him in pole position among the ranks of the current licence holders.