The headlines were predictably taken by Aidan O’Brien’s St Mark’s Basilica last Sunday, but there were several other talking points to unpick for Race Sharp readers.
Another big weekend passed where in theory, champion jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot, would have dominated, having the rides on big race winners St Mark’s Basilica and In Swoop prior to his ban. But it was another case of the quarantine jockeys from abroad returning home empty-handed.
You can understand why Martin Harley was given the option to ride the exciting Derab, a 6/1 shot to land the €857k first prize, but is a week on an exercise bike in a hotel room an adequate way to prep for the Prix du Jockey Club?
After Cieren Fallon missed his ride on Oxted to quarantine in France for a non-runner in the French 2000 Guineas and Rowan Scott was turned over on Ubettabelieveit, the misery continues.
Small but perfectly formed
Dizzy Bizu won the juvenile highlight, the Prix de la Fleche, for Race Sharp contributor Theo Bachelot, providing freshman sire Caravaggio with his first stakes winner. By all accounts Stéphane Wattel’s pocket rocket was a transformed filly in the preliminaries compared with her debut and is worth following, in spite of her lack of scope.
Footballer M’Baye Niang’s star filly Louliana is doing him proud whilst Bobbymurphy remains on the sidelines. Louliana won a Listed sprint well towards the end of the card, providing a minor pointer for Suesa, who thrashed her at this course last time out.
Suesa is currently a 5/1 shot for the Commonwealth Cup next Friday at Royal Ascot.
Power to the provinces
Thunder Drum won the Group Three Prix de Royaumont for Marseille trainer Jerome Reynier (described afterwards as her ‘Arc’) and Seailway, runner-up in the Prix du Jockey Club, is trained at the same centre.
Cheshire Academy came fifth in the feature, promising more to come, and is a graduate from winter racing at Pau.
In short, it pays not to underestimate horses trained in the provinces.
In Swoop remains 20/1 for the Prix de l’Arc following a sprint win in the Grand Prix de Chantilly. He will face a proper test at Ascot in the King George next month and does not look the most convincing Arc winner in waiting, especially given the dazzling performances at Epsom.