Grade 1 success for Califet and King's Theatre; Flemensfirth, Manduro, Milan, Oscar, Presenting and Robin Des Champs also on the scoresheet
SUNDAYBlue Dragon extended his unbeaten record with a 15-length score in the Grade 1 Prix Renaud du Vivier (Grande Course de Haies des 4 ans) over two miles, three and a half furlongs at Auteuil, a second win at the highest level for the Guy Cherel-trained gelding. He was bred by the partnership of Magalen Bryant, D Baer and Eurl Chene, he is a half-brother to the hurdles scorer Un Dragon Bleu (by Enrique), and he is out of the winning hurdler Nathalie Blue (by Epervier Bleu). It is the AQPS family of the Grade 1-winning hurdler Usual Suspects (by Goldneyev).
Blue Dragon was one of three winners on that Auteuil card for Boardsmill Stud stallion Califet (by Freedom Cry), the treble also including listed hurdles success for four-year-old Solway.Falcon Crest made it two from two over obstacles with victory in the Grade 2 “Monksfield” Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles at Navan. The Christy Roche-trained five-year-old was bred by John Power, his half-brother Indian File (by Flemensfirth) was third in a novice chase at Fairyhouse on Wednesday, and his dam One By One (by Topanoora) is a sister to the six-times winner Be The Tops. Falcon Crest is a son of the classic-winning Grange Stud stallion Milan (by Sadler's Wells).Riverside City won the Grade B Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase over three miles at Navan, a second win over fences for the Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old. Bred by Frank McGuinness, and a €20,000 graduate of the foals section of the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale, the son of Glenview Stud's multiple champion sire Presenting (by Mtoto) is out the dual blacktype hurdles scorer Blazing Sky (by Beneficial).Prince Of Scars won the Grade C Proudstown Handicap Hurdle over two miles, seven furlongs at Navan, a first blacktype success for the Gordon Elliott-trained son of Beeches Stud stallion Flemensfirth (by Alleged). He was bred by Eamon Salmon, he is a €175,000 graduate of the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale, and he is a half-brother to the talented staying chaser Folsom Blue (by Old Vic). His dam is the Grade 3 Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle heroine Spirit Leader (by Supreme Leader), a half-sister to the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle scorer Thats My Man (by Remainder Man).
SATURDAYCue Card was an impressive winner of the Grade 1 Betfair Chase (registered as the Lancashire Chase) over three miles at Haydock. The Colin Tizzard-trained nine-year-old was bred by Roland Crelin in Wales, and he is a son of the late Ballylinch Stud ace King's Theatre (by Sadler's Wells). A half-brother to the triple hurdles and dual chase scorer Hidden Crack (by Lahib), the €52,000 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale graduate is out of the talented jumper Wicked Crack (by King's Ride), a blacktype-placed half-sister to the Sun Alliance Chase third What's The Crack (by The Parson).Vautour, easy winner of the Grade 1 JLT Novices' Chase at Cheltenham in March, made a winning return at action at Ascot, beating Ptit Zig by one and three-quarter lengths in the Grade 2 Stella Artois 1965 Chase over two miles, five furlongs. The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old, who was bred in France by the partnership of Haras de Saint Voir and Patrick Joubert, is a son of the Glenview Stud stallion Robin Des Champs (by Garde Royale). He is the best of several winners out of Gazelle De Mai (by Dom Pasquini), a dual-purpose horse whose 20 wins included a listed contest in France.
Robin Des Champs also struck this week with listed success for Sir Des Champs over fences at Thurles on Thursday and with Welsh Shadow, who won a listed novice hurdle at Haydock on Friday.Rock On Ruby, the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle hero of 2012, took the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle (registered as the Ascot Hurdle) over two miles, three and a half furlongs. The ten-year-old is trained by Harry Fry, he was bred by John O'Dwyer, and he is a son of the Grange Stud stallion Oscar (by Sadler's Wells). He is a full-brother to the Grade 2-placed mare Alpine Glade and half-brother to the Grade 2-placed triple bumper scorer Bluebyyou (by Lake Coniston). His dam Stony View (by Tirol) is an unraced half-sister to the blacktype-winning hurdler Bank View (by Crofter).Baradari sprang a 12/1 surprise in the Grade 3 Betfair “Tap Tap Boom” “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle over two miles, seven furlongs at Haydock, a second blacktype success for the Dan Skelton-trained son of Haras du Logis stallion Manduro (by Monsun). A stakes-placed winner on the flat in France, the five-year-old was bred by the Aga Khan, he is a half-brother to the Grade 1 winner Barizan (by Kalanisi), and his dam Behra (by Grand Lodge) is a stakes-placed half-sister to the Group 1-placed Group 2 scorer Behkara (by Kris) and to the ill-fated dual Grade 1 hurdles winner and dual Grade 2 chase scorer Behrajan (by Arazi).
Baradari's pedigree was reviewed in details in the 24th January 2015 edition of The Irish Field.