Juigné Hurdle: The young ones show no mercy

6 March 2022

Victoire de Theleme devant Hermes Baie dans  le Prix Juigné (Gr3), sur les haies de l'hippodrome d'Auteuil, dimanche 6 mars 2022 à Paris.

Photo scoopdyga.com

Sunday, March 6, 2022, Auteuil Racecourse (Paris). - The Juigné Hurdle Race (Gr3) is the first important race of the Auteuil season for hurdlers, and the first opportunity for the 5-year-olds to test their elders. Well, pass the test they did as Thélème (Sidestep) and the AQPS Hermès Baie (Crillon), both 5, were left on their own after the second last jump.

As usual, old campaigner Galop Marin (Black Sam Bellamy), who beat the champion mare L’Autonomie last November in the Grand Prix d’Automne Hurdle (Gr1), but in the last turn, the younger runners made their move and soon took over. In the run-in, Thélème was the strongest and he left Hermès Baie, who had taken the lead first, at a good length. Third-placed Porto Pollo finished third at 9 lengths, just in front of the ever brave Galop Marin.

Next step: challenge L’Autonomie!

Thélème was bred by SCEA Bissons. He's racing for JDG Bloodstock, representing the family of the late Jim Gordon, who passed away about 18 months ago, a few days after Thélème's victory in the Cambacérès 3-year-olds Hurdle race (Gr1) at Auteuil. Trained by Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé, Theleme did not come back until last September, and he was twice beaten by Hermès Baie. He only won again in the Renaud du Vivier 4-year-olds Hurdle race (Gr1) after his rival had unseated his rider …

Thélème had been unsold as a yearling at Osarus in 2018, at only €3,000.

Thélème is out of Utopia Jem (Okawango), a mare sold €5,000 in December 2019 at Deauville, whose fifth foal, a Whipper filly, was sold €15,000 last December at Deauville to BLM Bloodstock, that is Bertrand Le Métayer, JDG Bloodstock's bloodstock advisor!