Sunday, April 16th, Chantilly racecourse. - Soleil Marin (Kendargent) won his fifth consecutive race in the Prix Noailles (Gr3), stepping stone to the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby-Gr1), run on the same course and distance of 2,100 meters. Trained by André Fabre for Godolphin, whom he joined after his last win under Mrs Elisabeth Fabre’s silks, the handsome colt fought hard against stablemate Akihiro (Deep Impact), who was making his comeback and only failed by a head.
The winner’s dam Sousmarine (Montjeu) comes from a very good Wertheimer family. She was purchased €150,000 as a breeding prospect at Arqana Breeding Sale in 2011. Winner of three races in the provinces for the Wertheimers and for trainer Guy Henrot, Sousmarine had however started once for André Fabre, who got her back for stud.
Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas-Gr1) main prep race, Prix de Fontainebleau (Gr3) went to the returning Brametot (Rajsaman), coming from last to take over Stunning Spirit (Invincible Spirit) and Spotify (Redoute's Choice), who had been closer to the pace all the way. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Gérard Augustin-Normand and Elisabeth Vidal, the winner was bought as a weanling at Arqana breeding sale for €26,000. Winner of three of his four outings at 2, including the Critérium de Bordeaux (L) to complete this first season, he is entered in the Abu Dhabi Poule d'Essai and in the Prix du Jockey Club (Gr1).
The fillies of the Prix de la Grotte-Sire Kendargent (Gr3), which prepares for the Abu Dhabi Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas-Gr1) took five seconds more than the boys to complete the mile trip but Senga (Blame, pictured above) beat the leading La Sardane (Kingsalsa) in good fashion with a fast closing Lady Frankel (Frankel) in third. Trained by Pascal Bary for Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd (the Niarchos family), Senga is out of Beta Leo (AP Indy), first foal of one Denebola (Storm Cat), hence a sister of Ratiocination (Excelebration), winner of the unraced 3yo Prix du Mont Cenis on the same card on Sunday. Also trained by Bary, Ratiocination beat odds-on favourite Parabellum (Dubawi) by a short head with Oshayger (Frankel) finished a brave third after leading all the way.
The winner is the sixth foal of Prix Marcel Boussac (Gr1) winner Denebola, herself a daughter of Coup de Génie (Mr Prospector), winner of the Prix Morny (Gr1) and the Prix de la Salamandre (Gr1). It is one of the most beautiful families you can find. The second, Parabellum, is also very well bred since he made the top-price at the 2015 Arqana yearlings sale with a €2.6m tag.
The Aga Khan’s Karishma (Exceed and Excel) won the unraced 3yo fillies, Prix de la Lancette, for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, beating the Godolphin representative Spindrift (Hard Spun) who took some time to find momentum and finished well but couldn’t quite catch the winner. Initially, Rouget had prepared Karishma for a first test at 2yo in the Prix des Marettes, a highly regarded maiden in August at Deauville, but the filly got some health issues and her debut had to be postponed.