€247,000 Drags Chase (Gr2): Jojo Lapin plays the long game

8 June 2024

Drags 24 Jojo Lapin

Photo scoopdyga.com


Saturday 8 June 2024, Auteuil Racecourse (Paris). – The final act of a season that peaked with the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (Gr1), held twenty days earlier, the €247,000 Prix des Drags Chase (Gr2) proved particularly selective as only four of the seven horses taking part completed the 2m6f course.

The clash between the five-year-old Jojo Lapin (Cokoriko) and the mare Milanne (Turgeon), who had been unbeaten in her two chases this season, delivered a spectacular performance. The Haras de Saint-Voir-bred, who had fallen at the fourth jumps in the Grand Steeple at odds of 45/1, was more prominent this time. He effortlessly closed in during the final turn after Toscana du Berlais (Shantou), Hipster Paradise (American Devil), and finally Spes Militurf (König Turf) had successively fallen while leading the race. David Cottin’s trainee, ridden again by Gabin Meunier after having had three different riders this season, jumped the last hurdle behind the McMillan stable’s mare and alongside Hasard de Brion (Axxos), the winner of the Prix du Président de la République Handicap Chase (French National, Gr3) who had rejoined the race after being held back in the turn. The run-in struggle remained uncertain for a long time, but the youngest horse in the field finally prevailed, crossing the finish line a short neck ahead of Milanne, with Hasard de Brion more than six lengths behind.

Jojo Lapin won the the Emilius and Alcide Hurdle races, his first two races, early last year at Auteuil. He switched to chasing the following fall, finishing 6th in the Maurice Gillois 4yo Chase (Gr1) after two placings over fences, always at Auteuil.

Before his Grand Steeple mishap, he had finished 2nd at Compiègne for his seasonal debut over hurdles. Then, in his return to the Auteuil Chase in the William & Alec Head Chase (Gr3), he achieved the same position, just a head behind Imbatable du Seuil, who has been absent since that race, run on April 16th.

Jojo Lapin’s dam, Voix du Sang (Westerner), was also bred by Nicolas de Lageneste’s Haras de Saint-Voir, but her dam Line Saj (Dhaudevi), dam of champions Line Marine (Agent Bleu) and Steel Jack (Gold and Steel), was bred by the Vuillard family. This lineage traces back to Blue Tip (Tip Moss), a winner of the Prix Pénélope (Gr3) and 6th in the Prix de Diane (Gr1) for the Wildenstein stable. Blue Tip is the dam of Listed winners at Auteuil and the second dam of Grandera, a triple Gr1 winner, and George Washington, a six-time Gr1 winner at 2 and 3 years old.

N'En Déplaise (Ivanhowe) is a brother to Jojo Lapin, born in 2023 at Saint-Voir.