Britain and Ireland lands of plenty for Frenchbreds

5 February 2019

Britain and Ireland lands of plenty for Frenchbreds

Photo David Davies / PA Images / Icon Sport

The French jumpers enjoy unprecedented success on British and Irish obstacles lately. They have won five of the nine Group 1 races scheduled in Ireland since the beginning of the year, and six of the eight Gr1 and 2 at the Leopardstown festival this weekend.

In Great Britain, they won two of the three Groups 1 ran in 2019 so far, and three Group 2 races as a bonus.

Saturday at Sandown, for example, Défi du Seuil (Voix du Nord) won the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase (Gr1), over 2 1/2 miles, where his compatriot Elixir de Nutz (Al Namix) won four weeks earlier Tolworth Novices' Chase (Gr1) two-mile event. Buveur d'Air (Crillon) also won a Listed race over hurdles that Sarturday, six weeks after his last outing and a month and a half before his attempt to win the Champion Hurdle ( Gr1), the Great Cheltenham Festival hurdle race, for the third time.

On Saturday at Leopardstown near Dublin, Apple's Jade (Saddler Maker) has remained undefeated for the 4th time this season - from 2 to 3 miles! - in the Irish Champion Hurdle (Gr1), and may try to stop the Buveur d'Air series at Prestbury Park on March 12th. Min (Walk in the Park) won the Dublin Chase (Gr1) for his second race of the season, and Le Richebourg (Network) won the Arkle Novices' Chase (Gr1). The following day, Sunday February 3rd, still at Leopardstown for the continuation of the Dublin festival, Klassical Dream (Dream Well) won a group 1 over hurdles for novices over 2 miles, while La Bague Au Roi (Doctor Dino) took the Flogas Novices Chase (Gr1) over 2m5f. Bred by Mrs de Tarragon, La Bague au Roi is unbeaten over jumps in four races including two Group 1 races. To top it off, Envoi Allen (Muhtathir), an AQPS bred in Allier by Bruno Vagne, remained undefeated in four outings in the main Bumper (Gr1) of the weekend, a specialty of the Irish.

On the previous weekend at Doncaster, Dynamite Dollars (Buck's Boum) won the Lightning Novices' Chase (Gr2) over 3,300 metres ahead of his compatriot Ballywood (Ballingarry). This is the fourth victory of this student of Emmanuel Clayeux and Jacky Rauch. Bred by Michel de Gigou, Fakir d'Oudairies (Kapgarde) also won on January 26, but at Cheltenham in the Finesse Hurdle (Gr2), a prep race for the Triumph Hurdle (Gr1). Frodon (Nickname) also won the Cotswold Chase (Gr2) that day.

Six of the thirteen favorites already tagged for the Cheltenham festival are Frenchbreds.