€80,000 Messidor: Fast Raaj becomes a miler

16 July 2023

Messidor 23 Fast Raaj

Photo scoopdyga.com

Sunday, 16th July 2023, Chantilly Racecourse (Oise). - As the clear favourite in the €80,000 Prix Messidor (Gr3) after finishing second twice at this level, Topgear (Wootton Bassett) led the field of four until halfway down the home straight, but he couldn't hold off Fast Raaj (Iffraaj) for long, ultimately conceding by a good length, with Fast Raaj veering slightly after taking the lead but without taking advantage of that movement.

Now carrying the colours of owner Alain Jathière, Fast Raaj won the Prix Djebel (Gr3) over 7 furlongs in April 2021. He then failed to perform at a higher level before winning again in the Autumn in conditions races over 6.5 furlongs. Despite being defeated on multiple occasions the following year, he once again won twice in the autumn, once at Listed level, before embarking on a winter campaign in Dubai that didn't yield positive results. Returning to competition in France after a four-month break, he went on to win the Grand Prix Anjou-Bretagne - Haras du Saz (L) over the mile at Nantes before this. He was also entered earlier in the 7-furlong Prix de la Porte Maillot (Gr3).

Fast Raaj was bred by Haras d'Étreham, Riviera Equine, and Philippe Lazare's Ecurie du Parc Monceau. He was catalogued for the Deauville sales in 2020 but was withdrawn.

He is the second foal out of Interesting (Raven's Pass), a Darley-bred filly who finished second in the Prix Eclipse (Gr3) at 2, behind the future sire Penny's Picnic, and only raced once at 3. Interesting was purchased for €300,000 at the breeding sales by Haras d'Étreham in foal to... Iffraaj, that is, Fast Raaj. Her dam, With Fascination (Dayjur), was one of Europe's top 2-year-olds in 1995.

A Hello Youmzain Fast Raaj sister is entered in the August Arqana sales in Deauville.