On the weekend’s standout performer
Mishriff was seriously impressive in winning the Saudi Cup. Most of the horses there were dirt specialists, but that wasn’t the case for him and it makes the performance all the more noteworthy. To win a race like that with a European horse is very difficult indeed and I thought it was an exceptional run.
I was also very pleased to see Noor Al Hawa land the local Group 1 in Qatar. He has done brilliantly there over the years, but also made a considerable impact on his six career starts in France and I was lucky enough to be on board when he won the Group 3 Grand Prix de Vichy in 2018, the only time I rode him.
On Canagat (third in Listed company at Cagnes last week)
It was great to pick up the ride, as I hadn’t ridden for the yard much in the past. We decided to try something different, to go a good gallop in front and he was very tough, but unfortunately didn’t quite last home. His UK form suggests he is at his best on the AW and hopefully he can win at this level for his connections, perhaps dropped to seven furlongs.
On the up-and-coming young riders in France
Jacky Nicoleau is a very good young rider and has done well since linking up with Francois Monfort – they have been in great form together. He is value for his claim.
Thomas Trullier and Alexis Pouchin are two of the more established younger riders and both are riding well, while Simon Planque has been winning races for Jean-Claude Rouget and looks an apprentice to follow.
In terms of the young trainers, Edouard Monfort has made a very impressive start to his career and is deservedly getting the backing of some very big owners (the Wertheimers now have nine in training with him, with Prince Faisal and Al Shaqab other notable owners).
On the race he would most like to win
For any young French racing fan, it can only be the Arc. It is the race we all dream about from childhood. In terms of races abroad, the Epsom Derby would be high on the list. However, all of the major races, from the US to the Far East, are their own exciting spectacles and to win any one of them would be brilliant.
And anything to look out for this week
I have a good book of rides at Cagnes on Wednesday and I’m quite keen on the chances of Viscount Barfield. It is only a claimer, but he is in good form and should certainly be thereabouts.
- Viscount Barfield
Normandy-based jockey Theo Bachelot recorded 108 wins in 2020 and his star continues to rise.
Theo gives his exclusive views to Race Sharp readers every week and is hungry for more success.
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