Jack completes full house for Rolland
Report: France, Sunday
Auteuil: Prix du President de la Republique (Group 3 Chase) 2m7½f, 5yo+
FULL JACK (Marcel Rolland/Alexis Acker) finished absolutely full of running to claim France's version of the Grand National.
Many observers might have assumed that Rolland had lost his chance of a fourth success in the country's richest handicap when second-favourite Mukonzi Has was an early faller but Full Jack moved effortlessly onto the heels of leader Monetaire between the final two fences before bounding clear to score by five lengths.
"He's a horse who always gives his running and he was given a great ride," said Rolland, referring to the cool efforts of 27-year-old Acker, who was riding in the race for the first time. "Going up in trip on drying ground was also key to him today," continued Rolland, who last won this race 15 years ago with Chant Royal.
Monetaire looked all over the winner until Full Jack appeared in Jacques Ricou's rear view mirror, having travelled supremely well through the race in the well-known colours of British owner Allan Stennet.
"He did some damage to a pedal bone so he's been back with us in Shropshire and only came back here about two and a half months ago," reported Richard Kent, bloodstock advisor to Stennet. "To do that in only his second race back, you'd like to think he has a good future."
Pearse stayed on stoutly from well off the pace to be a fast-finishing third under Philip Carberry.
Also on Sunday
Auteuil: Prix Jean Granel (Listed Hurdle) 2m3½f, 5yo+
Paddy Brennan had most of his rivals strung out all over the Bois de Boulogne aboard the Tom George-trained Saindor but was unable to shake the attentions of Lord Prestige (Marcel Rolland/David Cottin), who settled the issue between the final two hurdles.
When Attikos unseated Jonathan Plouganou at the first hurdle in the back straight, the two principals were left 30 lengths clear of the remainder.
Brennan stole a glance over his shoulder turning in and won't have been pleased to see Cottin stalking him.
Saindor was racing for the first time since October and Brennan said: "He's run a blinder. The French jockeys have wised-up to his tactics and they weren't letting me off today. David just followed me in behind and was good enough to go by me but we'll beat him next time."
Auteuil: Prix Quo Vadis (Conditions Chase) 2m2½f, 5yo+
James Reveley was another British-based jockey to put up a bold show aboard the Nick Williams-trained Cornas.
The pair were still just about in front at the second last and ran all the way to the line in fourth behind Hawk The Talk (Francois Cottin/Philip Carberry), who had been a distant last passing the stands with a circuit to travel.
"We might bring him back here and try and drop him in next time, with a view to doing the same in the Grand Cross des Flandres at Waragem in August," said Williams of Cornas, who jumped fluently for Reveley throughout.