Léon Rambaud Hurdle Race: Another test for L'Autonomie

17 May 2020

Léon Rambaud Hurdle Race: Another test for L'Autonomie

Photo Juigné Hurdle Race: scoopdyga.com

An important step towards the top French Hurdle race, echoing the Murat chase, the Léon Rambaud Hurdle Race (Gr2) was previously run before the La Barka Hurdle Race (Gr2), which was reversed for the first time in 2018 with the Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil, that is the French Champion Hurdle -or rather the French Stayers' Hurdle since it's run over more than 3 miles. It has now been extended to 4,300m, that is 2m5 1/2f, to better play its role as the last springboard towards big one.

This year, due to the sanitary crisis, the Léon Rambaud Hurdle Race is the only prep race, with Cher Hurdle (L), run on Monday, May 11 in Compiègne and won by Crystal Beach.

Twelve hurdlers are set to start their journey to the very top this year…

  • 1. Galop Marin (g8, IRE by Black Sam Bellamy and Great Jane, by Great Palm) Rating: 181

Winner of the last two editions of the Grand Prix d'Automne Hurdle Race (Gr1), he is now one of the best hurdlers in the country and makes the frame in almost all of his races. Third for his return in the Prix Juigné Hurdle Race (Gr3) in March behind L'Autonomie et Côtée Sud, he should once again play a major part in the race, even with a 10lbs penalty.

  • 2. El Gringo (g6, FRA by Kamsin and Cinecitta, by Diesis) Rating: 148

He has alternated flat, hurdle races and steeplechase with great success so far and has been sent to another trainer after a good winter meeting in Pau, including a second place in the Grand Prix de Pau Chase (Gr3). Back in Auteuil, he won over hurdles against some good chasers horses such as Bipolaire (3rd) and Carriacou (5th).

  • 3. Paul’s Saga (f6, FRA by Martaline and Humoriste, by Saint Cyrien) Rating: 165

Winner last year of the Grande course de haies de Printemps (Gr3), the biggest handicap Hurdle race, she then succeeded within the very best since she finished the season with a win in the Carmarthen Hurdle Race (Gr3), a second place in the Grand Prix d'Automne Hurdle Race (Gr1), and finally another win in the Léon Olry-Roederer Hurdle Race (Gr2). It is, however, her seasonal return.

  • 4. Bergerac (g7, FRA by Spirit One and New Simardière, by Epervier Bleu) Rating: 159

This versatile horse ran over hurdles and steeplechasing and in various categories but almost always at Auteuil. On the other hand, he only ran five times last year, failing twice over hurdles in the spring at a good level, winning straight off a Summer spell in September, beating the good Curly Basc, Carriacou and Alex de Larredya. Third in the Grand Prix d'Automne Hurdle Race (Gr1) afterwards, he nevertheless finished off with a sixth place in the Léon Olry-Roederer Hurdle Race (Gr2). He has not run since.

  • 5. Berjou (g6, FRA by Holy Roman Emperor and Bernières, by Montjeu) Rating: 163

A listed winner over hurdles at Auteuil in the spring of 2019, he then finished third in the Grande course de haies d'Auteuil (Gr1) at a good length of the champion mare De Bon Coeur. He failed three times in the Autumn but regained his form this winter at Cagnes-sur-Mer, where he won three consecutive chases, including the Grand Prix de Nice (Gr3). Back over hurdles at Auteuil in March, he took the fourth place in the Juigné Hurdle Race (Gr3) on a very heavy ground terrain.

  • 6. L'Autonomie (f5, FRA by Blue Brésil and L’Automne, by Kahyasi) Rating: 172

Champion 4-year-old hurdler last year, she ended her season with five wins including the Renaud du Vivier 4yo Hurdle Race (Gr1). For her first test against aged horses, in March in the Juigné Hurdle Race (Gr3), she left Côtée Sud, also 5, and Galop Marin at six and thirteen lengths respectively ...

  • 7. Enjeu d'Arthel (g6, FRA by Saddler Maker and Olga d'Arthel, by Brier Creek) Rating: 139

He has won three of his four hurdle races to date, but none at Auteuil, where he has been better at chasing. Last Autumn, for example, he won the Fondeur Chase (L), restricted for 5-year-olds, and has just taken the second place in the Robert de Clermont-Tonnerre Chase (Gr3) behind Poly Grandchamp. This is a new test over hurdles ...

  • 8. Bosseur (g9, FRA by Coastal Path and Suite, by Octagonal) Rating: 152

One of the best of his promotion over hurdles at 4, he continued to feature in the best Hurdles races for two years before disappearing from the cards from June 2017 to October 2019. His return was not immediately successful but he won his hurdle race at Fontainebleau in February and finished fourth in the Hubert d'Aillières Hurdle Race (L) between Bipolaire and Carriacou.

  • 9. Porto Pollo (g5, FRA by Manduro and Silky Steps, by Nayef) Rating: 154

He was one of the best of his generation at 3 and still proves to be very consistent at this level, both over hurdles and chasing, but he is struggling to win now against the best. He's back for a new season here.

  • 10. Hell’s Queen (f7, FRA by Gentlewave and Queen Margot by Muhtathir) Rating: 134

Winner of four hurdle races at Fontainebleau and Auteuil at a lower level, she refused the start at Clairefontaine last August but a month later, she managed to take a seventh place in a hot handicap Hurdle Race at Auteuil, having lost many lengths at the start. She was sent to a new trainer after that.

  • 11. Côtée Sud (f5, FRA by Lord du Sud and Turbulence, by Turgeon) Rating: 152

First or second of all her races except one, for her debut at Auteuil, she finished second in the Renaud du Vivier 4yo Hurdle Race (Gr1), 18 lengths behind L'Autonomie, then one length from her elder Sainte Saône in the André Michel Hurdle Race (Gr3). Back in March in the Juigné Hurdle Race (Gr3), she finished second again, between L’Autonomie and Galop Marin.

  • 12. Byzance du Berlais (f5, FRA by Martaline and Bonita du Berlais, by King’s Theatre) Rating: 146

Always in the mix in her races, she has competed in almost all of the top 4-year hurdle races of 2019 and if she didn't manage to win, she nevertheless finished fourth and third in the two championships of the season. She too will be back here and has never faced her elders before.