Auteui: track staged trials for big next month's big meeting
Chenet takes trial ahead of possible Stars clash
Report: France, Sunday
Auteuil: Prix Camarthen (Group 3 Hurdle) 2m3½f,5yo+
WILLIE MULLINS may not have seen too much to dissuade him from sending Thousand Stars back to his favourite corner of Paris for the Grand Prix d'Automne on the first Saturday in November, after Saint Du Chenet (Marcel Rolland/Regis Schmidlin) ran out a worthy winner of the main trial.
Saint Du Chenet was rerouted to take on the top hurdling prizes in the spring after jumping frailties brought a halt to his chasing career but was 20 lengths behind Mullins's admirable grey in the Grande Course de Haies (French Champion Hurdle) in June.
His trainer was of the opinion that the saturated ground played to his charge's strengths, as Saint Du Chenet took control two out before holding the late rally of Top Ling.
"He was caught for speed [behind Nikita Du Berlais] on his comeback in the Prix Compiegne on ground that was too fast for him but today, he was back on a surface which plays to his strengths," said Rolland. "The Grand Prix d'Automne is the obvious race and I don't think the extra distance will bother him. We don't know for sure who's coming from Britain and Ireland but he's worth his place in the line-up."
Also on Sunday
Auteuil: Prix Heros XII (Group 3 Chase) 2m6f, 5yo+
NET LOVELY (Emmanuel Clayeux/Jonathan Plouganou) resumed her ascent of the chasing ranks with a classy defeat of Sadler'sflaure.
Her winning run came to a shuddering halt when one of five fallers at the Grand Open Ditch in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in May.
But there was no mistaking the confidence with which Plouganou plotted his way round in this trial for the Group 1 Prix La Haye Jousselin.
"It's her attitude which makes her so good, she's a real fighter," said co-owner Paul Couderc. "When she jumped the one before the Grand Open Ditch I could see whe she was going well within herself. Unfortunately in the Grand Steeple-Chase she was going a little too fast approaching that fence. But for that mistake I don't think you'd be talking now about Mid Dancer as the winner."
Mid Dancer's trainer Christophe Aubert and Pegasus Farms supremo Herve Barjot would no doubt dispute that assertion and both were wreathed in smiles after Sadler'sflaure produced a career best in second.
Auteuil: Prix Orcada (Group 3 Chase) 4yo, 2m5½f
FARLOW DES MOTTES (Francois Nicolle/Benoit Gicquel) will head to the Group 1 Prix Maurice Gillois as the horse to beat after outpointing Michto on the run in.
James Reveley set a stern pace on the punishing ground aboard Fago and the pair only surrendered the lead at the last.
Gicquel was always among the leaders in the chasing pack and Farlow Des Mottes showed plenty of determination to keep up the gallop all the way to the line.
Saint Palois stayed on in third, a promising effort as he was giving 6lb to most of his rivals.
"The horse has progressed a lot since the spring," said Nicolle, whose charge could only finish 10th in a Group 1 here in May. "I don't know how much improvement he has in him for the next time but if he runs like that it could be good enough."