Alain de Royer Dupré, Monsieur Diane
On Sunday, the Chantilly-based trainer Alain de Royer Dupré will saddle his 27th runner in the Prix de Diane Longines. The trainer, who has the majority of the Aga Khan string in his care, holds the record for number of wins in the Prix de Diane Longines. He has won the race on six occasions, and the most memorable of this is that of the Champion Zarkava in 2008.
This year Alain de Royer Dupré is represented by a filly who has never known defeat, and who is likely to be the starting favourite. This princess is named Siyarafina, and she will carry the colours of her breeder, His Highness the Aga Khan. She is coming off a win in the Saxon Warrior Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary, over 2,000 metres at ParisLongchamp, as was Laurens, the 2018 winner of the Prix de Diane Longines, She will be running over 100 metres further this Sunday, on a more demanding track than that of the Bois de Boulogne racecourse.
Alain de Royer Dupré commented: “The Prix de Diane Longines course requires more stamina than that of the Saint-Alary. The filly has better condition now than when she won the Saint-Alary. Siyarafina has a lot of speed and she is also very athletic. She is easy to ride in her races and can be ridden in any fashion.” Siyarafina had her final serious piece of work on Tuesday morning on the Aigles gallops at Chantilly. Her trainer was happy with her work: “Siyarafina ran in the Saint-Alary three weeks ago and so the timing is perfect. Since then we have just kept her ticking over, she hasn’t needed anything more. She is ready for Sunday. There is stiff opposition, the race isn’t won yet. I just hope that the track won’t be as quick as on the day of the Jockey Club. When three track records are broken in one day, it means that the track is riding very fast, and that can leave its mark on the horses…”
Frédéric Rossi for the South-East
Sixth in the Prix de Diane Longines 2017, Mademoiselle Marie was the first filly trained in Marseille to attempt the Chantilly Classic. Cala Tarida, trained by Frédéric Rossi, one of the leading trainers in the Calas-Cabriès region, will attempt to go better. Winner of the Prix des Réservoirs (Group 3) at 2-years-old, she is coming off a fourth place in the Saxon Warrior Coolmore - Prix Saint-Alary (Gr1), won by Siyarafina.
Frédéric Rossi explained: “Her last work has been very satisfactory. She has earned her place in the line-up on Sunday. She was unlucky in the Prix Saint-Alary but she finished very well. She will be ridden economically on Sunday. She has a good turn of foot over the finishing furlong and, in these conditions, she is Group 1 level. We are running in the hope of a place. Cala Tarida will be ridden by Grégory Benoist again. The Prix de Diane has been her objective since the beginning of the year. We have trained to prepare her with this in mind, without have too hard races beforehand. She will be in top form on Sunday.”
A first for Nicolas Caullery, with no pressure
The Lamorlaye-based trainer Nicolas Caullery, who has not yet reached the age of forty, will saddle his first ever runner in the Prix de Diane Longines on Sunday. Morning Dew will be one of the outsiders in the race, and the trainer is coming into the race without any pressure: “Morning Dew didn’t run badly in the Prix Saint-Alary. She was in last place throughout the race and was under pressure. She has plenty of quality, so deserves her place in the race on Sunday. She is still a maiden, it’s true, but it is her owner, Charles Wentworth’s, dream to run here so we will do all we can for him.”