We’re back for a festive edition of the French Racing Diary, where we take an alternative look at the big stories in the French racing press.


Broodmare in form

There can be few broodmares across the globe in better form than Rock Harmonie. Placed in the Group Three Prix du Petit Couvert in 2008, her sons from her recent crops are all running with phenomenal success on the PSF. Since October:

  • 4yo Rock Blanc has won two conditions races at Deauville, prior to a slightly unlucky Listed third in the Prix Luthier behind Amilcar. He is now rated 44.5.
  • Three-year-old Coachello bounced back to form emphatically last week after an aborted sale to the US. He thrashed the Italian 2000 Guineas winner Fayathann and is well worth his rating of 48.0.
  • Finally, the Anodin juvenile from the same family, Star Rock, opened his account on debut two weeks ago – also on the Deauville polytrack! He obviously has some of Coachello’s character, given that he has already been gelded, but not short of ability.

All three are trained by Romain Le Dren Doleuze, who normally trains between 10 and 20 winners a year, but this year has saddled 36 winners.


Bronze for Bachelot

Theo Bachelot has capped a fantastic season in finishing third in the flat jockeys’ championship. Bachelot is know for his work ethic, smart race riding and attention to detail in form study – he also speaks fantastic English!

He makes no secret that he would love to be champion jockey one day and also would love to ride in Japan.


Spanish takeover

There was a Spanish flavour to Deauville last week – could it be the warmer weather? The Way of Bonnie, the Copa de Oro winner, was an 8-1 winner of the Prix Arcangues for Guillermo Arizkorreta, with Roger Charlton’s 100-rated Sleeping Lion giving the form a good look in 3rd.

Just look how sunny it was on his return home!

Earlier on the same card, Misty Cat was a brave winner under Spanish rider Victoria Alonso, who scraped paint all the way round. Misty Cat provided Alonso with first winner on French soil in seven rides – this was a special one as Misty Cat is fully owned and trained by family members.


Aideu Cheminaud?

Vincent Cheminaud bids to exit the wilderness with a dramatic switch to riding Stateside. The former jumps prodigy has form in the US, having won a Grade One at Saratoga on Flintshire, but has seemingly lost favour amongst leading French owners and trainers.

In the last three years he hasn’t managed to strike up a Group One partnership and both Barzalona and Guyon have done much better out of the Boudot fiasco.


Chapeau Alain

Alain de Royer-Dupré saddled a please Group One third this month with his final runner, Ebaiyra, in the Hong Kong Vase. Equidia have put together some fantastic content to celebrate his retirement, including the below montage.

I had forgotten just how impressive Reliable Man was in winning his Prix du Jockey Club.


French Antepost dead

We finish the week with confirmation from interim PMU chief Emmanuelle Malecaze-Doublet in today’s Jour de Galop that there will be no pooled antepost bets on the horizon. Instead her teams are working on creating a new jackpot bet, ready next summer.