Back in 2019: Goliath just too strong

29 March 2020

Back in 2019: Goliath just too strong


Every week, in a series of articles entitled "Back in 2019", while we wait for the resumption of racing in France, we invite you to look again at last season's main events, updated with what happened next ... Every Thursday, we will also remind you of the best maiden winners from last year.

Sunday, March 31st, 2019, Auteuil. - Goliath du Berlais (Saint des Saints) dominated from one end to another in the Prix Fleuret 4yo Chase (Gr3), Sunday at Auteuil. The representative of the Szwarc family immediately took the lead, jumped impeccably all the obstacles on the 4,400 metres-long trip, and left Bel Apsis (Apsis), who tried to challenge him going into the final straight, at four lengths. Altus (Saint of Saints) finished third five lengths further down.

The main challenger of the winner until now, Polirico (Cokoriko) jumped awkwardly and was left trailing the field.

Goliath du Berlais was bred by Jean-Marc Lucas. The colt is owned by Haras d'Etreham (his sire is based there), Stéphane Szwarc and Palmyr Racing, the stable of Guillaume Macaire, his trainer. Goliath's dam, King's Daughter (King's Theater), was bred by Gerard Samama, who lost her in a claimer after a win on the flat. She was owned since then by Jean-Marc Lucas and trained by Robert Collet. She won six races over jumps including the Prix Bournosienne (Gr3) at Auteuil, where she also finished fourth in the Prix Renaud du Vivier 4yo Hurdle Race (Gr1) behind Royale Athenia and Zaiyad.

After Goliath, King's Daughter gave a male and a female by Muhtathir and a Saint des Saints filly.

Also trained by Guillaume Macaire and ridden by Bertrand Lestrade, 4yo Frisson d’Estruval (Saint des Saints), bred by the Le Gentil family, easily won the Prix Alcide Hurdle race. In the Prix Air Landais Chase (L), dual Grand Steeple winner So French (Poliglote) did not go on after his recent Fontainebleau win as he finished only 6th. Eventful finish, however, as both the horses saddled by Anne-Sophie Pacault, Spirit Sun (Zambezi Sun) and Carriacou (Califet), finished first and second despite veering to the outside after the last jump.

Another 1-2 on Sunday, for trainer Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé this time in the Prix Général de Rougemont Hurdle Handicap (L) as Amour du Mathan (Saint des Saints) beat stablemate Fan de Blues (Poliglote).

And then ...

Goliath du Berlais also won the Jean Stern 4yo Chase (Gr2) then the Ferdinand Dufaure 4yo Chase (Gr1) before bowing out to enter stud at Étreham. He started his breeding career in 2020 ... His younger sister by Muhtathir, Queen of Berlais, now 3, is in training with David Cottin. His 4-year-old brother James du Berlais, also sired by Muhtathir, is trained by Robert Collet. He won the Prix Fifrelet 3yo Handicap Hurdle (L) at Auteuil last year and has just returned in another Handicap, Prix Univers II Hurdle, in which he could not give 3lbs to Denomedenuo, whom he had beaten in the Autumn.

Their dam King's Daughter foaled a full brother to Goliath in 2019, named David du Berlais (Saint des Saints).

Winner of the Quinté + Race that day, the 4-year-old Amour du Mathan became one of the best chasers of her age, and placed in Graded chases a few times thereafter, notably when second to Sainte Saône in the Sytaj 4yo Female Chase (Gr3 ) in the Autumn.

This renewal of the Air Landais Chase was not to be missed. If So French never recovered his best form after this failed comeback, Carriacou, second on the day, went on to win the Zeturf Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (Gr1) -where the Air Landais winner Spirit Sun fell-, and then finish third in the La Haye Jousselin Chase (Gr1)!

Frisson d'Estruval did not reappear until the end of August, racing from then on for new owner Pierre Pilarski and no longer his breeder, Bernard Le Gentil. He won his first chase at Dieppe, then confirmed at Compiègne before the winter break. He left training on March 10, just before the coronavirus crisis stopped racing.