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Jean Claude Rouget

Jean-Claude Rouget: on the mark with Morandi at Longchamp

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Morandi waltzes through Longchamp mud to win

Report: France, Sunday

Longchamp: Prix de Conde (Group 3) 1m1f, 2yo

MORANDI (Jean-Claude Rouget/Gregory Benoist) turned this well established warm-up for the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud into a procession, easing to a 12-length success over Onedargent on ground that was verging on unraceable.

"He's getting better and better," confirmed Rouget, who was winning the Conde for the third time in six years.

"He's still immature and we have to mind his three-year-old career but, if he comes out of this okay he'll probably go to the Criterium."

The Mick Channon-trained Luhaif represented the best form on offer on paper, having come within three-quarters of a length of denying Olympic Glory at Goodwood.

But having set out to make all under Sam Hitchcott, the energy-sapping ground completely undermined his chances.

"He absolutely hated the ground," concluded Hitchcott. "Normally on better ground he jumps and he travels but today he was beaten quite early on."

Also on Sunday

Longchamp: Prix du Conseil de Paris (Group 2) 1m4f, 3yo+

TWO WEEKS after finishing almost ten lengths behind Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Dollar, Saga Dream (Freddy Lemercier/Thierry Jarnet) got the better of a prolonged battle with Sediciosa to land the biggest prize of both his and Lemercier's career.

Lemercier trains just four horses in the Loire Valley, as well as having a breaking and pre-training business based in the grounds of a chateau.

"It's my Arc, my World Cup!" exclaimed a jubilant Lemercier, who has saddled Saga Dream to be placed in five Group and two Listed races in his ten starts this season without winning.

He added: "This horse has run really consistently all year and, while he might be just below the top class, he deserves his win. He was beaten a long way by Cirrus Des Aigles but he's always there in these Group races."



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