Trainers Cottin and Fouin reign over Cagnes

06 January 2019

Archive photo scoopdyga.com of Cote d'Azur and Régils Schmidlin at Auteuil

François-Marie Cottin saddled the first two home in the Grand Prix de la Ville de Nice-Bernard Sécly (Gr3), the Cagnes-sur-Mer Winter meeting’s greatest chasing event. Racing for Écurie Centrale, Achour (Limnos) dominated almost from one end to the other and left his stable mate Rasango (Astarabad) at two lengths for owner Gerard Augustin-Normand, who owned the winner at the beginning of his career. Grand Départ (Astarabad) finished well in third, a place he snatched from the Yannick Fouin-trained duo, Pinson du Rheu (Al Namix) and My Maj (Majorien).

The 6-year-old Achour had won on December 17 in a claimer and then finished second in a handicap also staged on the Riviera scenic racecourse. He was running on Sunday his fifth race of the meeting. He came back chasing this season after eleven straight hurdle races.

Achour is out of Jolie Menthe (Bateau Rouge), winner of nine races in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Auteuil and Fontainebleau for trainer Marie-Laetitia Mortier, owners Ecurie Centrale and Jean-Paul Sénéchal, most of the time in claimers, without the mare ever changing connexion, however. Achour is the best of her nine foals so far, with six wins and more than € 400,000 in prizemoney. His youngest siblings are a 3-year-old son of Barastraight, a 2-year-old by Coastal Path and a yearling filly by Saint of Saints.

Winner of the race in 2016 and 2017, second last winter, Serienshock (Sholokhov) once again finished second Sunday in the Grande Course de Haies de Cagnes (L), the local Champion Hurdle, run over 2 ¾ miles. The race went to the well-named Côte d'Azur (Poliglote), also racing for the Écurie Centrale. The 7-year-old AQPS mare, trained by François-Marie Cottin, secured the victory at the jump of the last hurdle, which she crossed veering towards the inside, while Serienshock waited the run-in to make his run and take a clear second place.

Ridden by Régis Schmidlin, Côte d'Azur was bred by her trainer, like Achour. She won a handicap-Quinté + early in the meeting before failing in a new handicap with 72 kilos (11st-6lbs).

Côte d'Azur is the first foal out of Reflexion (Discover d'Auteuil), a winner of the Prix Hardatit Hurdle (L) at Auteuil beating champion chaser Shannon Rock, who couldn’t give her seven kilos and finished fourth that day. Her dam, Indecise (Cyborg), bred by the Chaignon family, also produced Vieux Lion Rouge (Sabiango), a Group 3 winner across the Channel. She also is a sister to British Gr1 winner Marcel.

Since the birth of Côte d’Azur, Réflexion has given six foals, including the winning Fortuitous (Martaline), withdrawn from the Munir dispersal sale recently in Deauville, then two colts by Rail Link and a filly by Saint des Saints.

If the Cottin team dominated in the day’s two major races for aged horses, Yannick Fouin had made his mark in the four-year-old races.

Fou du Brésil (Blue Brésil) once again dominated the other 4-years-olds chasers in the Prix Christian de l’Hermite (L). Trained by Yannick Fouin, whose colours he also wore, he had dominated Sagaline (Vision d’État) in the Prix Ucello II, at the beginning of December, and confirmed here by taking over Brazil de l’Orme (Blue Brésil), who enjoyed a cosy, hapless trip, while Fou du Brésil, on the contrary, made a few mistakes and was never travelling fluently. He still won by almost a length, comfortably, while Sagaline, always well placed, finished third at more than five lengths.

Bred by Marie-Laure Besnouin and Jean-Michel Feuillet-Besnouin, Fou du Brésil ran five times chasing and he always made the frame, even at Auteuil in November, when he finished third. His dam, the unraced Belle Attente (Cadoudal), is out of the good Maren Kassel (Noir et Or), winner of the Prix Wild Monarch 3yo Beginners Hurdle (L) at Auteuil and sister of the sire and winner of Prix d'Hédouville ( Gr3) Bonnet Rouge (Pistolet Bleu).

It is again a colt trained by Yannick Fouin at Maisons-Laffitte who triumphed over hurdles in the Prix André Massena (L), the great hurdle race for 4-years-olds. Fast in front, Fraulein Agatha (Manduro) had run only once before, when she won at Cagnes on December 7, and yet again dominated here at a higher level. Always near but less fluid, Arenui (Masterstroke) remained second after fighting Bowler Hat (Helmet), also always pointed with the leading horses. Fraulein Agatha was bred by André Hebert, from the unraced Fire Moon Julie (Testa Rossa), also dam of Day Gets Up (Muhtathir), winner of a chasing race at Auteuil.