French ace Sottsass likely to miss York as Rouget prioritises Arc
This month's Juddmonte International may end up one star short of its full quota after Jean-Claude Rouget indicated that he was leaning away from bringing Sottsass across to York.
A general 6-1 chance with bookmakers, Sottsass first emerged as a player for the first-day feature at the Ebor meeting last month after Rouget had given his stable star plenty of time to recover from his exertions in the Prix Ganay.
Bur speaking after the runaway success of Raabihah at Deauville on Saturday, Rouget said he was concerned not to over-exert the son of Siyouni by pitching him against a cast that could include Ghaiyyath, Lord North and Enable on August 19.
"He is very well and the Arc has been the target since last year," said Rouget. "He is not sure to go to York, which will be a very strong race.
"He could have gone to York with a race before but he won't have run for three months and that could be a bit hard for him. We want to protect him by running in the Prix Gontaut-Biron here, and then the Prix Foy after that. For now, that's the programme."
The Group 3 Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club is run over 1m2f on August 15 and Sottsass will have to carry a 7lb penalty for his win in the Ganay.
The Prix Foy on September 13 has also been earmarked for star stayer Stradivarius before a possible tilt at the Arc the following month.
Neither Rouget nor owner Peter Brant has won the Arc and that has been the main aim for last season's champion three-year-old ever since finishing third to Waldgeist and Enable at Longchamp last October.
Juddmonte International betting (August 19)
William Hill: 7-4 Ghaiyyath, 4 Enable, 5 Lord North, Magical, 6 Sottsass, 8 Kameko, Mishriff, Persian King, 10 Japan, 12 Benbatl, 16 bar
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