Critérium de Saint-Cloud : A Three Nations tournament

24 October 2019

Critérium de Saint-Cloud : A Three Nations tournament

Photo 2018 Critérium :

Saturday at Saint-Cloud racecourse begins a rich weekend as between this meeting and the next day at ParisLongchamp, three Group 1 races and three Group 3 races are on the cards.

The Critérium de Saint-Cloud (Gr1) is the highlight of Saturday's meeting. It is the longest of the European selection races for juveniles, as it is run over 1m1/4.

Nine runners have been declared but the French favourite, the Wertheimer homebred Pao Alto (Intello), is a non runner. Three pretenders to the succession of the filly Wonderment are trained, like her, in France. The Summit (Wootton Bassett), representing Mrs. Jacques Cygler, has just been beaten by Hopeful, a Wertheimer homebred who was on equal terms with Pao Alto for their common debuts.

The other French entries are Thunderspeed (Night of Thunder) and Mkfancy (Makfi). Both won on very soft ground lately at Angers on the same trip and on this course over a mile, respectively.

From Ireland, champion trainer Aidan O'Brien delegates three of his young soldiers, Mythical (Camelot), who disapointed lately in an English Gr3 race over 10 furlongs, and Celtic High King (Galileo), who has just won his first race convincingly at Leopardstown. The third lining up at St. Cloud is Arthur's Kingdom (Camelot). He just won for the first time on heavy ground after two good second places.

The English side will rely on Sound of Cannons (Nathaniel), who failed twice lately including in a Group 2, and will try the distance for the first time here. Via de Vega (Lope de Vega), a Frenchbred son of the good mare Via Milano, started with a victory at Sandown, showing a nice turn of foot in the final furlong, and enough resolution to go further than the mile.

The two Group 3 events on the Saturday program are the Prix Perth (Gr3) and the Prix de Flore (Gr3). The former is a mile race for horses over 3 years old which brings together a very international field of nine runners including another representative of the Wertheimer & Frère team, 3yo filly Matematica (Rock of Gibraltar), a very unlucky favourite in the Prix de Saint-Cyr (L), last Sunday at ParisLongchamp, and already out for a quick revenge here. She will still have to compete with an undefeated English raider named Miss O Connor (Roderic O'Connor), aged 4, recent winner of a Listed event on the samed distance at Haydock on heavy ground. The best rating of the lot is that of the consistent Kourkan (American Post). Also note the return of Plumatic (Dubawi), yet another "Wertheimer", out since May and his victory at the expense of the classic winner Olmedo, who was then trying to redeem himslef. The 3-year-old filly Tifosa (Kodiac) won the Prix la Camargo (L) at the start of the season on this course before failing in the Prix de la Grotte (Gr3). She failed to impress again on her Summer return (8th out of 10) in August and returns again after more than two months away.

The Prix de Flore is a fillies & Mares race over 2,100 meters, 10.5 furlongs. They are five at the start and the best rating is that of the 4yo Spirit of Nelson (Mount Nelson) but the younger Mashael (Dubawi) is relatively better placed with a rating lower by three pounds but a four pounds age allowance! She has just won two races including a Listed at Compiegne on a very soft turf. But the race may be more open than it seems ...