Djebel: Boy rocks French Guineas market

7 April 2022

Rock Boy et Mickaël Barzalona remportent le Prix Djebel (Gr3), jeudi 7 avril 2022 sur l'hippodrome de Deauville.


April 7, 2022, Deauville-La Touques Racecourse (Calvados). - The French Classic season traditionally starts with the Prix Djebel (Gr3) and its fillies version, the Prix Imprudence. Now run at Deauville over the 7-furlong straight course, the Prix Djebel gathered 7 runners, most entered in the Emirates Poule d’Essai, the Qatar Jockey Club and the Grand Prix de Paris. 

With a going stick reading "Heavy, soft in places", two small lines were formed, headed by Nesr Shalghoda (Due Diligence) and Kingentleman (Kingman). The favourite, the Aga Khan's Liyann (Le Havre), who had won twice at 2 before proving disappointing on a softer turf, got the perfect trip but couldn't keep up with the fastest horses and finished 4th. Rock Boy (Rock of Gibraltar) followed him and waited as long as possible before his final, decisive move, beating the Prix Montenica (Listed) winner Loubeisien (Kheleyf) by one length, while the Prix Herod (Listed) winner My Fancy (Myboycharlie) stayed on at 2 lengths after a nice effort three out. The winning time is 1’29’’30, the slowest since 2008. The winner was the fastest runner two to one furlong out, and in the final furlong with sectional times of 11’’86 and then 13’’31.

It was Rock Boy's first trial over such a short distance. he had won for his debut at Vichy over the mile in September, and then over 9 furlongs at Marseille-Borély. He's now unbeaten in three races over three different courses and three different trips.

Entered in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains, Rock Boy races for Team Calas, a partnership made of 12 stakeholders, namely Serge Mayan, Guy-Roger Petit, Michel Perret, l'écurie Ascot, Christian Faure, Henry Salemme, Richard Olivier, Richard Chotard, Serge Tardy, Thierry Gagliano, l'écurie des Dragons and Elisabeth Mezquita. For his trainer Richard Chotard, it was a first Group win over the flat after many more over jumps.

Rock Boy was bred by Legendary Rent Club, like his older brother Alastor (Helmet), a Gr2-placed in Italy sold at Arqana 2021 Autumn sale to Harold Kirk, Willie Mullins and PR Bloodstock for €150,000. As for Rock Boy, he was paid € 16,000 by HSV at Arqana.

This bloodline performed in Europe and in the USA as Rock Boy's second dam Khassah (Green Desert), 2nd in one Fillies’ Mile (Gr1), gave birth to a Prix Thomas Bryon (Gr3) winner, Makaan (Swain), then sold to the US, and to another black-type performer, Almail (Swain).