LARC Maurice de Gheest: Marianafoot lands on a different World

8 August 2021



August 8, 2021, Deauville-La Touques Racecourse (Calvados). - The French-trained Marianafoot (Footstepsinthesand) won his first Gr1 with disconcerting ease over the LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest (Gr1) straight 6.5 furlong straight. Homebred by Jean-Claude Seroul, trained in Provence by the astute Jérôme Reynier, the 6-year-old horse beat another French-trained competitor, Lady Bamford's 4-year-old filly Tropbeau (Showcasing), who travelled in the centre for her first tilt over such a short distance. One of the British favourites, July Cup (Gr1) winner Starman (Dutch Art) stayed on in 3rd, in front of the 2017 winner 9-year-old Brando (Pivotal).

The American favourite Campanelle (Kodiac), winner of the Darley Prix Morny (Gr1) on the same course one year earlier, jumped at the start and almost got rid of Frankie Dettori, and then went to the centre of the course to lead Thunder Moon (Zoffany), but both were never a factor anymore and finished last and second last.

Marianafoot now counts 14 wins with 8 straight wins lately. He hasn't been beaten again since February 2020 in Qatar. It is also his 4th straight win on turf as he used to run more over all-weather earlier.

Marianafoot is the second foal out of Marianabaa (Anabaa), a winner at Marseille-Vivaux who ran a claimer under the colours of her breeder Jean-Claude Seroul before entering stud. She was nevertheless sent to Kendargent and then to Footstepsinthesand. The mare gave six foals including the good Padron (Gris de Gris), a Listed-winner and Gr3-placed in Germany for the same connections. More recently, the mare gave a full sister to Marianafoot who won at Marseille-Borély at 2, then a 2-year-old by Authorized in training with Jérôme Reynier, and finally another filly by Footstepsinthesand born in 2020.



Jérôme Reynier (Marianafoot coach, 1st)

"As soon as he got through, he had the race won in 50 metres. He won easily at the end. Our plan was really to use the 1,300 metres trip in such a way as to enable him to make the difference in the last 100 metres, as he has more stamina than some sprinters. We knew that this course would suit him. I had this race in mind since the beginning of the year, and the goal was to have him in tip-top shape on the big day. It's great to have achieved this end goal! He can stay up to 1,600 metres (a mile). He will remain in Deauville and we will decide on Thursday whether he goes for the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard - Jacques Le Marois - depending on how he comes out of the race. A veritable class act such as Palace Pier has been earmarked for the Group 1 race. Regarding his stallion career, it would be great if he could get placed in the Jacques Le Marois. Last year, I was a bit downbeat as he raced very little and therefore opportunities were reduced. He's making up for lost time this year. We could be tempted by the Breeders' Cup at the end of the year, following a crack at the Qatar Prix de la Forêt at ParisLongchamp in early October ..."

Pierre Talvard (the owner of Haras du Cadran and breeder of the winner Marianafoot)

"This is my year! I’m so happy for Jean-Claude Seroul. I've been working with him for 45 years. He has invested a lot in mares and mating plans. Furthermore, it works! Marianafoot's dam has produced a beautiful yearling by Footstepsinthesand. She is not very tall but is a very attractive chestnut. She looks a lot like Marianafoot."

Mickaël Barzalona (the jockey of Marianafoot, 1st)

"This is the best lot he's ever faced. I now know him by heart: he decides. You can ride him from the front or can even adopt waiting tactics. On this occasion, I had planned to wait and take the fight to Campanelle early on, but I had to change my mind [editors note: because the filly’s chances were practically ended after exiting the starting stalls very badly]. He really showed considerable powers of acceleration. He’s at his peak. He's got it all: the physique, the attitude... "

Stéphane Pasquier (the jockey of Tropbeau, 2nd)

"The filly showed very good acceleration to pip Starman and take second. It's all very satisfying."

David Ward (the owner of Starman, 3rd)

"Starman was beaten by the ground. We will have to travel outside Europe at some point to find ground that suits him [editor’s note: ground which is as fast as possible] He still ran well, despite the conditions not being to his liking. The jockey confirmed our impression. On good ground, he’s a different horse..."