Grand Prix de Chantilly: A new scene for the usual suspects

30 May 2020

Grand Prix de Chantilly: A new scene for the usual suspects

Photo Grand prix de Chantilly 2019 :

A fezw horses placed in the last two editions of this race are back here in the Grand prix de Chantilly (Gr2), run at Deauville this year. 2nd and 4th respectively last year, Ziyad (Rock of Gibraltar) and Folamour (Intello) meet again, also facing Way To Paris (Champs Elysees), who finished 3rd to Waldgeist, now an Arc winner, two years ago. The grey has also finished 2nd lately in the Prix d’Harcourt (Gr2), beating Villa Rosa (Doctor Dino), Royal Julius (Royal Applause) and Folamour, all back here too.

To spice up things, French King (French Fifteen), won again in Qatar last Winter and he will tackle this bunch for the first time.


  • 1. FRENCH KING (m5, GB par French Fifteen et Marina Piccola, par Halling) Rating: 118lbs

He improved steadily in the last three seasons. At 3, he was 3rd in the Prix Frédéric de Lagrange (L), the "Vichy Derby",  and won the Amir Trophy (L) in Doha the next Winter. he won two Group 2s then in Germany, and a Group 1 there before failing in the 2019 Qatar prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr1). Back in Doha in February. he won the same race there and he's got the best rating in this, but he must carry a 2lbs penalty which places him at the same level as Ziyad's.

  • 2. ROYAL JULIUS (FRA, h7 by Royal Applause and Hflah, by Dubawi) Rating: 107lbs

Purchased € 40,000 as a yearling, the first foal of a sister to Critérium de Saint-Cloud (Gr1)-winner Goldamix (Linamix), he started in 2015 at 2 in Chantilly and then won its second outing at Deauville when trained at Mont-de-Marsan in the deep Southwest of the country. Third in the Prix Hocquart (Gr2) after failing in the Prix de Fontainebleau (Gr3) over the mile, he finished seventh in the Prix du Jockey Club (Gr1) won by Almanzor. A Listed winner at Nantes at 4, after his transfer to Calas, in Provence, where he’s trained since by Jérôme Reynier, he was regularly placed at the best level afterwards and went on to win his Group 2 race in Rome in 2017 over 9 furlongs. He continued to play his usual part in France and Italy, but also in the Middle East since he placed in Doha in early 2019, and won in Bahrain in early 2020 before taking a fifth-place last February, back in Qatar. He ran in the Prix d'Harcourt (Gr2) lately but only faded in the last two furlongs.


  • 3. WAY TO PARIS (GB, h7 by Champs Elysees and Gray Way, by Cozzene) rating: 112lbs

Purchased for £50,000 as a yearling, this brother to an Italian Group 1 winner began his career in Italy, where he won 3 years at Listed level, and followed his trainer, Andrea Marcialis, when he moved to France in spring 2016. Since then, this grey has performed regularly over distances varying from 10 to 14 furlongs. He had a good run at the start of 2019 over long distances, culminating in his success in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil (Gr2) over this racecourse but over 14 furlongs. Clearly beaten in his last two attempts in 2019 in the Prix du Cadran (Gr1) and the Prix Royal-Oak (Gr1), he was sixth for his return in the Prix Exbury (Gr3), over this same distance at Saint-Cloud. In the Prix d'Harcourt (Gr2), however, he finished very well in second and should once again have a live chance in this.

  • 4. FOLAMOUR (GB, g5 by Intello and Zagzig, by Selkirk) rating: 107lbs

Bred by the Wertheimers, he won on his fourth attempt after three places in the spring of his 3-year-old season. Clearly beaten in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Gr1), he finished this first campaign with a third place in the Prix du Prince d’Orange (Gr3). Winner for his return at 4 in a Listed over 1 ½ mile, then second over the same distance in the Prix d'Hédouville (Gr3), he took the fourth place in the Grand Prix de Chantilly (Gr2). Out all summer, he only competed once more, when third in the Prix Lyphard (L) at Deauville over the all-weather track in November. He did not show much for his 2020 return in the Prix d'Harcourt (Gr2).

  • 5. ZIYAD (g5, GB by Rock of Gibraltar ex Arme Ancienne, by Sillery) Rating: 116lbs

This Wertheimers homebred hails from the family of the French Oaks winner Aquarelliste and started his season in March over the all-weather at Chantilly, beating Soleil Marin and Villa Rosa there. If one forgets his only failure in the Prix Lord Seymour (L), he never missed the podium for a year. Second in this race in June last year; for his 4th race of the season, he has not run for a while but was in the same situation when he won the Lucien Barrière Grand Prix de Deauville (Gr2 )in August.

  • 6. VILLA ROSA (f5, FRA by Doctor Dino and Villa Joyeuse, by Kahyasi) Rating: 107lbs

Bred by the Wertheimers, from a versatile family which gave winners on the flat as well as over jumps, she won twice at Listed level at the end of the season at a 3-years-old. She won four times in her second season, last year at age 4, notably in the Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte (Gr3) at the expense of the good Intellogent. She also made her comeback this year in March at Chantilly over the all-weather, when third over 9.5 furlongs to the good Ziyad, and finished well in 5th last time out in the Prix d'Harcourt (Gr2) over a shorter distance.