€80,000 Gladiateur: Big Call the globetrotter finally stays

4 September 2022

Gladiateur 22 Big Call

September 4, 2022, ParisLongchamp Racecourse (Paris). – The Prix Gladiateur (Gr3) was created at the Champ de Mars in 1807, and it is thus probably the oldest race of the French program, of which this edition is the 181st. Today, the race has turned into an aged horses’ stamina test run over a short two-miler, a good month ahead of the Arc weekend, especially the Qatar Prix du Cadran, over 2 ½ miles.

Six runners showed up at the start this year, four horses and two geldings. They were led by English raider John Leeper (Frankel), with Tides of War (Galileo) and The Good Man (Manduro) in his wake while Big Call (Animal Kingdom) was travelling in 4th position. 300 yards out, The Good Man took over John Leeper while Big Call was looming outside and soon overcame the leader. Trained and part-owned by Christophe Ferland with Flora Scott, Big Call finally won by almost two lengths while The Good Man narrowly kept the second place, one head ahead of the good finisher Investor (Champs Elysees).

Big Call’s form is rather atypical. The 5 years old gelding was competing here in his first Group race. He had been unsold at $ 55,000 as a yearling at Keeneland but made his winning debut in Ireland at 2 for trainer Joseph O'Brien, who had bought him € 45,000 at the Arqana breeze-up. Exported to Hong Kong after his winning debut, he failed three times there at 3 before returning to Europe, this time at Christophe Ferland’s, aged 4. Soon a winner at Lignières, then last winter at Cagnes-sur-mer, again in a handicap at ParisLongchamp in April, he reached an 89lbs rating which led his connections to try their luck at the Listed level in Madrid, where he finished third, then fifth in the Prix du Carrousel (L) before winning this...