If 2020 was the year of Skalleti, a new gelding is on the block this year called Iresine.
Jean-Pierre Gauvin is no stranger to a Group horse, having trained 2012 Prix du Jockey Club winner Saonois and more recently, the 2016 Prix de l’Arc fourth Siljans Saga.
The Manduro gelding Iresine burst onto the scene this spring with an emphatic success in the Group Three La Coupe de Longchamp, under regular pilot Marie Velon.
🏆 @VelonMarie décroche le premier groupe de sa carrière grâce à Iresine !
— Equidia (@equidia) June 13, 2021
The win was also notable being Velon’s first Group success and of course achieved without the female rider claim, which does not apply in black type races and Quinte handicaps.
Iresine has racked up seven wins on the bounce now and his last defeat was at the big Vichy meeting this week a year ago – how apt then that he lines up tomorrow in the Group Three Grand Prix de Vichy as a hot favourite, the highlight of the meeting.
Speaking to the Paris Turf today, Gauvin said:
The frequency of his races is important and he will have a maximum of three more starts this season. If I work back from the Qipco Champion Stakes in October, La Coupe de Maisons-Laffite (at Longchamp) appears the best prep race on September 5. Five weeks between races is perfect.
Ascot could put him on course to clash with Skalleti, as well as the home team of Addeybb and Mishriff.
Iresine is undoubtedly progressive and has everyone talking, though on ratings he is still a full 10lb short of Skalleti on French ratings.
Grand Glory and Algiers are the two horses tomorrow that have been put up in the newspapers as each-way alternatives to Gauvin’s star. The Grand Prix is off at 8.45pm UK time on Wednesday 21 July.