Prix du Gros-Chêne : all eyes on Finsbury Square

3 June 2018

Prix du Gros-Chêne : all eyes on Finsbury Square


The Race

Third in this race in 2016 and second last year, Finsbury Square dominated the 2018 edition of the Prix du Gros-Chêne (Group 2). He was having his first outing for trainer Mauricio Delcher-Sanchez after leaving the yard of Fabrice Chappet. The blinkers came off on this occasion and this was something which hadn’t happened for over two years. Held-up in last place. Finsbury Square made rapid progress from the 400-metres marker and he wasn’t stopping as he put daylight between himself and his rivals. Gold Vibe was noted finishing well for second – a place in front of the always prominent A Momentofmadness.

Finsbury Square is owned by Berend Van Dalfsen who is also his breeder. He was born at the Haras du Berlais. 

The race under the microscope

  • 1st - Finsbury Square: After being held-up patiently at the rear, he cruised into the lead inside the final 400-metres and won without so much as a flick of the whip.
  • 2nd - Gold Vibe: Well away, he sat on the tail of the pacesetters before courageously clawing his way into second.
  • 3rd - A Momentofmadness: After leading on the stands’ side, he was powerless to deal with the winner when he went by and lost second in the final strides.
  • 4th - My Lea: Missed the break before making her effort on the outside of the pack, and was noted running-on well for fourth.
  • 5th - Soho Universe: Raced on the heels of the leaders and kept on well.
  • 6th - Rimini: Held-up in the chasing pack, he wasn’t disgraced in sixth.
  • 7th - Son Cesio: After showing plenty of early dash, he tried in vain to snare a place.
  • 8th - Cox Bazar: Well away from his eight draw before weakening .
  • 9th – Cheikeljack:  Showed early pace before weakening quickly

Quotes :

Mauricio Delcher Sanchez (the trainer of Finsbury Square, 1st) :

"The horse was very well ridden by Olivier Peslier. He came there on the bridle and won well easily. It’s a very well deserved victory – and it is also one for his former trainer Fabrice Chappet. The horse arrived at my stable in magnificent condition and I decided to race him without blinkers, as I wished to form my own opinion on this matter on his debut run for the stable {Delcher Sanchez}. We are going to mull matters over with the owners and will think this over. My first inclination is to head towards Royal Ascot with a view to tackling the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. I think he will be equally effective over 1200m."

Olivier Peslier (jockey of Finsbury Square, 1st)

"In the past, he has finished third and second in this race and now he has won! I was a bit concerned that he might pull himself up as I came a bit too soon, but he had so much in the tank. I was careful but he certainly saw it through.”

Pascal Bary (trainer of Gold Vibe, 2nd)

« He has finished second yet again but he’s always on the premises. He always seems to find one too good, but he has finished in front of the horses he normally beats. He was hampered by the winner but that changes nothing, as Finsbury Square was a cut above.  He will continue to be campaigned in this grade.”

Charlie Hills (trainer of A Momentofmadness, 3rd)

«The winner was impressive. Our horse delighted us as he ran well against group performances after coming from handicaps. A Momentofmadness is improving with age and he has run very well on what was his first race outside Britain. At present, he may tackle a Listed race en route to the King George Stakes (Gr2) at Goodwood. He likes fast ground and we may consider running him in the Prix du Cercle (L) at Deauville."