A VERITABLE equine feast takes place this weekend in France where the feature event is the Group 1 Qipco Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly tomorrow afternoon.
Aidan O’Brien will be trying to land the classic for the first time. Coolmore have an interest in four of the 12 runners, there have been three supplementary entries, and only three French trainers will have runners in the event which has a winning purse of €857,100.
Lester Piggott won this famous race in 1972 on Hard To Beat and he is a co-owner of Rivet. Trained by his son-in-law William Haggas, this colt will be one of the leading fancies. The favourite is almost certain to be Brametot. He is trained by Jean-Claude Rouget who won the Jockey Club last year with Almanzor and for a first time with Le Havre back in 2009.
The winner of five of his six races, Brametot landed a brave and narrow victory in the Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Deauville in May and he runs over more than a mile for the first time.
Three lengths away third in the Poulains came Rivet and the O’Brien-trained Orderofthegarter was fifth and beaten just over nine lengths. Rivet was staying on at the end and this longer trip should suit the son of Fastnet Rock who won the Racing Post Trophy last October.
Orderofthegarter will also appreciate the extra two and a half furlongs of the Jockey Club but the leading Ballydoyle contender is probably War Decree, the mount of Ryan Moore. This colt was five lengths behind Rivet when sixth in the bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.
The third O’Brien runner is Taj Mahal and he is well held by stablemate Orderofthegarter on recent form.
Charlie Appleby has sent Bay Of Poets (supplemented) and D’bai over to Chantilly. Since being raced over more than a mile, Bay Of Poets has been placed behind Cracksman and Cliffs Of Moher, who are both leading fancies for this afternoon’s Investec Derby at Epsom, but he was well behind Rivet in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster where D’bai was third.
Andre Fabre is going for a fifth Jockey Club and saddles 25% of the field. He supplemented Godolphin’s recent purchase Soleil Marin and also runs Waldgeist and Plumatic. The first-named paid an immediate dividend for his new owners by winning the Group 3 Prix Noailles over the course and distance.
Waldgeist is 50% owned by Coolmore and has been diverted from the Epsom Derby to the French equivalent.
His major achievement came last October when he landed the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud and was well ahead of Taj Mahal and D’bai. He reappeared in the Prix Greffulhe and was convincingly beaten by a much fitter Recoletos, who also lines up on Sunday.
Fabre’s third representative is Plumatic. He made a winning debut in March and has since been a well-beaten favourite when runner-up in the Prix de Guiche.
Carlos Laffon-Parias supplemented Recoletos in the race after his easy win over Waldgeist in the Greffulhe and the son of Whipper is unbeaten in three races this season.
Miroslav Rulec trains Be My Sheriff in Germany. The colt was a recent five-length winner of a conditions race at this track but this is a big ask.
The question is will Brametot stay the distance, can Rivet give Frankie Dettori a fourth win in this classic and Aidan O’Brien a first. The stage is set for a fascinating Prix du Jockey Club.
QIPCO PRIX DU
Next best: Brametot