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Christophe Soumillon

Christophe Soumillon: recorded a three-length success aboard Hippomene

  PICTURE: getty images  

Soumillon marks return to jumping stage in style

Report: France, Sunday

Auteuil: Prix Cambaceres (Group 1 Hurdle) 2m2f, 3yo colts and fillies

CHRISTOPHE SOUMILLON revived memories of his previous exploits at Auteuil when striding to Group 1 success aboard Hippomene in the same black and gold silks as when landing the French Champion Hurdle with Mandali in 2010.

The champion flat jockey's return to French jump racing's greatest arena had ended on Saturday with Ceasar's Palace falling at the final hurdle in the Grand Prix d'Automne.

But riding Hippomene with supreme confidence, there was no such drama as he led home a one-two-three for trainer Jean-Paul Gallorini in the Prix Cambaceres for three-year-olds.

"It's true it was a bit of a gamble on my part but I know Monsieur Gallorini is a genius and a little bit mad like me so, he was up for the challenge," said Soumillon, who had received the blessing of the Aga Khan to ride over hurdles at the meeting. "Yesterday didn't go so well so I'm especially happy to win."

Remarkably Gallorini, one of the most successful trainers in France, was winning his first Group 1 since Soumillon stole the Grand Course in sensational style three years ago.

Also on Sunday

Auteuil: Prix Haye le Jousselin (Group 1 Chase) 3m½f, 5yo+

Gallorini's drought was well and truly broken an hour later when Shannon Rock and David Cottin landed the Prix Haye le Jousselin after a protracted duel with Saint Palois and James Reveley.

Shannon Rock has finished second in the last two editions of the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris and an elated Cottin said: "He's always there in these big group races and he deserves his win."

It was a reversal of fortune for Reveley - who had snatched victory from Cottin in Saturday's Grand Prix on the Nick Williams-trained Reve De Sivola - but he remained upbeat about the performance of Saint Palois.

"He made a slight mistake at the last which might have cost us but he's run a great race," said Reveley, who rides mainly in France for Guillaume Macaire but, this season has come in for the ride aboard Saint Palois for trainer Jacques Ortet and owners the Papot family.

"He's a bit of a character and was trying to follow the loose horse but he's very good. He's only five and he could be a horse for next year's French Gold Cup."

The Paul Nicholls-trained Join Together battled on for sixth to earn more than €13,000 under Ryan Mahon.

Auteuil: Prix Maurice Gillois (Group 1 Chase) 2m6f, 4yo

The Group 1 Prix Maurice Gillois went the way of Milord Thomas and Jacques Ricou in dramatic fashion, after 2-5 favourite Storm Of Saintly fell at the last with the odds apparently about to be landed.

"It's my first Group 1 win and it's a great pleasure that it comes for Magalen Bryant who has really helped me," revealed winning trainer Dominique Bressou, whose best previous inmate, Royal Francois, had the misfortune to be born in the same year as Long Run and Rubi Ball.

He added: "With these big fences you've never won till you pass the post. I knew Storm Of Saintly would be the one to beat but I didn't go into the race feeling it was an impossible task."

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