On Sunday, June 3rd, Chantilly racecourse hosts the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club, a Group 1 race which crowns the best European colt from the born in 2015 generation.

The race known as the 'Derby français' or French Derby was inaugurated in 1836. The term Derby is used to denote the top races for the three-year-old generation practically everywhere in the world. The Prix du Jockey Club is one of one the world’s top Derbies, and one whose reputation reverberates on the international breeding scene.

In recent times, the influence of stallions (and past winners) such as Lope De Vega, Le Havre, Lawman, Shamardal, Dalakhani and Montjeu have all impacted globally. Trawling further back, the names of Darshaan, Bering, Suave Dancer and Caerleon are other cases in point. All these stallions continue to appear in the pedigrees (family trees) of the world’s best racehorses. They have also contributed, and continue to contribute, to the improvement of the thoroughbred breed. For the number one objective of the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club, and other 'Group 1' ranked races is the improvement of the breed which takes the form of the driving forces of the thoroughbred breed: faster, stronger and even better in terms of achievement.

21 colts are still entered in the €1.5m race after the 2nd forfeit stage on Tuesday morning.

2018: a magnificent duel in prospect between Pau (and for this read trainer Jean-Claude Rouget) and …

This spectacle of the 2018 edition of the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club takes place against the unique backdrop of Chantilly. A pulsating duel looks on the cards between Olmedo (owned in partnership by Spain’s Antonio Caro and France’s Gérard Augustin-Normand) and Study of Man. The latter is owned by the Niarchos Family and races under the banner of their Irish holding: Flaxman Stables.

Olmedo is prepared at Deauville in the yard of Jean-Claude Rouget, who is aiming to complete a famous hat-trick in the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club! In 2016 Almanzor, who carries the ‘Olmedo’ colours of Antonio Caro and Gérard Augustin-Normand, set the ball rolling. In 2017 Jean-Claude Rouget did it again with Brametot. The latter was owned in partnership by the Qatari concern, Al Shaqab Racing, and Gérard Augustin-Normand. Yes, still him!

Study of Man is trained at Chantilly by Pascal Bary – the author of five Prix du Jockey Club wins. Namely Celtic Arms (1994), Ragmar (1996) and, in 2004, Blue Canari, in the silks of Jean-Louis Bouchard; Bary’s 1998 winner Dream Well was co-owned by Jean-Louis Bouchard and the Niarchos Family; whereas Sulamani triumphed in the ‘Niarchos’ colours in 2002.

… and from Chantilly (Pascal Bary, Fabrice Chappet)

This year’s QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club sees Pascal Bary very well armed, and he goes to war with the Niarchos-family owned Study of Man. The colt is a son of the crack Japanese sire Deep Impact who descends from the line of Miesque, one of the great racemares of modern times and a standardbearer of the Niarchos family. Pascal Bary’s second runner is a colt owned by Jean-Louis Bouchard, Naturally High, a very promising type with a wicked turn of foot. He is going to attempt another step up the ladder on Sunday when he will face the best colts of his generation.

Fabrice Chappet, also Chantilly-based, still has three entries in the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club. The trio all have good chances and include Intellogent, a son of the 2013 winner of this race, Intello. He is coming off a win in Prix de Guiche which is an important stepping stone to the Jockey Club. Dice Roll is coming off a third place in the The Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains: a Group 1 race for three-year-old colts over 1,600 meters. He’s a very good colt and, if he has required stamina to see out the 2,100 meters of the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club, he will be a redoubtable foe. The last challenger for QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club from the Fabrice Chappet stable is Stable Genius. The least exposed of the trio, the 2,100 meters trip should prove ideal for a colt blessed with a smart turn of foot.

However, one must be weary of colts trained outside France. Rostropovich (a son of one of the all-time greats and namely Frankel) represents Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien who has yet to break his duck in the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club. His horses have enjoyed great success worldwide but so far the Jockey Club has eluded him.

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