Makaloun adds further lustre to Gear Up form in key Prix du Jockey Club trial
Makaloun's cosy defeat of Millebsoc in the Group 3 Prix de Guiche at Chantilly on Tuesday added further evidence to the relatively new notion that last season's Criterium de Saint-Cloud might have been a pretty hot race.
Last October Makaloun finished third in the final juvenile Group 1 of the French season, a nose and a neck ahead of Sunday's Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial hero Bolshoi Ballet. The form will look positively golden should the race winner, Gear Up, land the Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.
For now, trainer Jean-Claude Rouget's only concern is the immediate progress of the Aga Khan's son of Bated Breath, who was reappearing after a 199-day break.
"He is a good horse who always runs his race and it's great to see him come back like that," said Rouget, who also trains Prix de Suresnes winner Saiydabad for the same connections. "I'll talk to the Aga Khan's entourage, but there's only one Jockey Club and I'd like to run both.
"You never know what will happen in the race. Makaloun still has to come out of this race fine, while Saiydabad has a little more time to recover. If they had different owners they would certainly both run."
Runner-up Millebosc produced a decent effort just a fortnight after making his seasonal return when second over the same course and distance.
"We're very satisfied with his run and it was a bit of a risk running him back so soon," said trainer Stephanie Nigge. "He was a bit lit up early on but Gerald Mosse soon had him under control and it's a good lesson for the future. He's had two quick runs so we'll see how he comes out of it before deciding where he goes next."
Fort Payne ran on for third and Nicolas Caullery was keen to stress that better ground would be a help with a view to the Jockey Club.
Thomas Trullier received a four day ban for allowing Fort Payne move across Adamho and, although the stewards left the result unaltered, it summed up a frustrating day for Maxime Guyon and owners Wertheimer et Frere.
Earlier Ansilia remained locked on the rail with nowhere to go in the Listed Prix des Lilas.
The race went to Soumillon and Pascal Bary courtesy of Tahlie, who continues to improve and vindicated her trainer’s decision to run here rather than jump in the deep end for Sunday’s Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.
"We thought about the Poule but we decided to go up the grades gradually," said Bary, who added: "The whole family are milers," suggesting the Group 2 Prix Sandringham back here on Jockey Club day is a more likely next step than the Prix de Diane Longines two weeks later.
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