€250,000 Critérium International (Gr1): Sunway at his best in home country

22 October 2023

Critérium International 23 Sunway

Photo scoopdyga.com


Sunday, October 22, 2023, Saint-Cloud Racecourse (Hauts-de-Seine). - Navy Seal (Dubawi), one of Aidan O’Brien's duo in the €250,000 Critérium International (Gr1) over a mile, was quick off the mark, forging ahead with Grey Man (Wootton Bassett). However, an eager Sunway (Galiway), pushed by a draw in stall 6, soon took the initiative. Race favourite Alcantor (New Bay) was held in the rear, followed by Portland (Dubawi) and Havana Cigar (Havana Grey).

In the final stretch, Grey Man faded first, with Navy Seal following suit. In contrast, Saganti (Zarak) began his assault on the leaders, as did Alcantor.

For a moment, Sunway seemed outpaced by the race favourite, but dug deep, snatching victory from Alcantor by a mere half-length. Portland made a late surge, pushing the tenacious Saganti into fourth.

Trained in Britain by David Menuisier but bred in Normandy by Guy Pariente, Sunway marked his French debut today. Having claimed victory at Sandown over 7 furlongs in June, he faced defeat at Ascot in the Winkfield Stakes (L) over the same distance. However, he bounced back, securing second in Doncaster's Champagne Stakes (Gr2), behind the eventual Jean-Luc Lagardere (Gr1) winner, Rosallion.

Haras de Colleville showcased Sunway at the Arqana yearling sales, where he was clinched for a cool €300,000 by Trotting Bloodstock in Deauville. He's a full brother another Criterium winner, Sealiway, winner of both the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (Gr1) and the Champion Stakes (Gr1). Another full sister was born in 2022 and a 3-year-old, by the same sire, yet to debut on the track.