Fabre Derby hopefuls brushed aside by impressive Recoletos
Laffon-Parias to supplement winner for Prix du Jockey Club
Prix Greffulhe (Group 2) 3yo colts and fillies | 1m2f Turf
The winner behaved a little as if it were his first day at school during the preliminaries while his two Group race winning rivals, Waldgeist and Akihiro, looked relaxed and professional ahead of what was widely perceived as a private fight between Andre Fabre's two Derby entries.
But when it came to the fight, Olivier Peslier had his opposition covered a furlong and a half out and Recoletos eased himself decisively into the picture for the Prix du Jockey Club, for which Paddy Power introduced him as a 10-1 chance.
Almost the least surprised person at Saint-Cloud was winning trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias, who chose to step the son of Whipper straight into Group 2 company direct from a conditions race success here at the beginning of April.
"We chose not to take the easy route and took this option over a Listed alternative," said Laffon-Parias. "He has beaten a Group 1 winner and the two of them [Waldgeist and Akihiro] were probably the two best two-year-olds last year. He has beaten them fair and square and that will pay his supplement for late entry into the Prix du Jockey Club."
Reflecting on Recoletos's somewhat nervous behaviour beforehand, Laffon-Parias added: "He is still very immature and quite nervous so I must pay tribute to Stephane Laurent, the lad who rides him in the morning, who has done an extraordinary job with him.
"People will say, oh he's by Whipper, he needs it soft. But this horse has the action of a good ground horse and he has won around here on much quicker going. He's never stopped improving."
Waldgeist was making his first start for six months and looks likely to come forward for the experience and perhaps a step up in trip, though soft ground might prove be a prerequisite for whichever Derby he is aimed at.
Akihiro was only beaten a head by his stablemate and the Wertheimers' racing manager, Pierre-Yves Bureau, indicated afterwards there would be no rush to judgement with either him or Plumatic, who had been beaten 24 hours earlier at Chantilly
Couetil has Melbourne aim for Tiberian as Peslier doubles up
Also at Saint-Cloud
Prix d'Hedouville (Group 3) 4yo+ | 1m4f Turf
Peslier was on the mark again in the day's other Group contest when Tiberian (Alain Couetil) outbattled Talismanic in a race which turned into something of a sprint.
"I was a little bit worried about the soft ground and Olivier said his action wasn't as fluid as the other day," said Couetil. "I will probably skip the Grand Prix de Chantilly and wait for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the beginning of July.
"He will then have the summer off and have one comeback race before heading to the Melbourne Cup."
Tiberian finished down the field in the Gold Cup at Ascot last season but pushed One Foot In Heaven all the way when narrowly defeated in the Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris back over a mile and a half last October.