Saint-Georges : Newcomers challenge the old sprinters' guard

10 May 2020

Saint-Georges : Newcomers challenge the old sprinters' guard

Photo prix de Saint-Georges 2019 :

A traditional kick-off for the French sprinters' program, the Prix de Saint-Georges (Gr3), for 3 years and over 5 furlongs at ParisLongchamp, usually takes place as part of the French Guineas card. It was therefore not greatly affected by Covid 19 epidemic lockdown since racing could resume on time for the race to be run only a day after its initial programming.
It brings together ten runners including the titleholder Sestilio Jet (French Fifteen), but also the four horses who finished behind him in the last edition. They are challenged, among others, by three 4-year-olds including We Go (No Nay Never), a recent winner on the Chantilly all-weather track …

1. Tour to Paris (h5, FRA by Fuissé and Théoricienne, by Kendor) Rating: 104lbs
He arrived undefeated from Hungary, where he started his career after being bought € 3,000 as a yearling at the Deauville sales. It was in April 2019, and he won his first race in France under for Chantilly trainer Pia Brandt with ease. Significantly beaten immediately after, he redeemed himself on the Deauville all-weather track in the Summer, where he finished second before winning again. He prevailed once more at Maisons-Laffitte in a Listed event at the end of the season but failed regularly this winter in Dubai, and for his return at Chantilly in March.

2. Sestilio Jet (h, FRA by French Fifteen and Hideaway Girl, by Fasliyev) Rating: 108lbs
Bought as a yearling for € 17,000 in Deauville, he began his career in Italy before definitively joining the Andrea Marcialis' Chantilly yard, and he ended the year 2018 with two wins. One of which was on all-weather. Last year, he finished third twice, at the start of the season after his comeback, before winning this same event. He couldn’t do much against Inns of Court in the Prix du Gros-Chêne (Gr2) but didn’t really confirm his best form on his next three outings in the Autumn.

3. Duhail (h4, IRE by Lope de Vega and Single, by Singspiel) Rating: 98lbs
Purchased € 300,000 at the Deauville breeze-up sales in May 2018, he won his first two races, last year at 3 after being gelded, then took the second place in a Listed over 6 furlongs and has not been seen since.

4. We Go (h4, FRA by No Nay Never and Encore Merci, by Danehill Dancer) Rating: 107lbs
Purchased € 22,000 at the yearlings sales in Deauville, he won his maiden well on his second outing, at 2 over 6 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte. He then took the third place in the coveted Darley Prix de Cabourg (Gr3) in Deauville but failed in his last outing over 7 furlongs in the Prix La Rochette (Gr3). He then alternated good and not that good races at 3, but won his last race of the season, and confirmed with two victories again last Winter at Cagnes-sur-Mer then at Chantilly on the all-weather track.

5. Red Torch (h5, FRA by Airchief Marshall and Red Kiss, by Fasliyev) Rating: 101lbs
He won his first race in a handicap after nine attempts but had been placed often. He continued in handicaps around 6 furlongs until last summer. He then went on to win a Listed in Berlin but was unable to confirm in two French Group 3 sprints thereafter, but nevertheless ended his season in a conditional race at Fontainebleau.

6. Forza Capitano (h5, FRA by Captain Marvelous and Fantasia, by Monsun) Rating: 105lbs
Bred by his owner, he won at 2 over 7 furlongs and won again for his seasonal bow at 3 in a Listed over 6 furlongs. He ran better than what the form suggests in his next races and finished 3rd in the Prix de Seine-et-Oise (Gr3). It was the same scenario again last year, at 4, when he finished notably fifth in this race after winning on the all-weather.

7. Gold Vibe (g7, IRE by Dream Ahead and Whisper Dance, by Stravinsky) Rating: 105lbs
Purchased £ 300,000 yearling, he is now 7 and is reaching € 300,000 in earnings. A consistent gelding, he is one of the best French sprinters, even though he has not won since September 2017. Second in this race in 2018, fourth last year, he was disappointing last time out in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp (Gr1) and tends to race from the rear.

8. Batwan (g5, FRA by Kendargent and Matwan, by Indian Rocket) Rating: 104lbs
He was unsold at € 25,000 at the Deauville yearling sales and races for his breeder. He started in the winter of his 3-year-old year at Cagnes-sur-Mer with a win, and aimed the best races soon thereafter without winning in this category but doing well, still. Second in this race after also taking the second place in a Listed race a month earlier, he has not been seen since.

9. Ken Colt (g5, IRE by Kendargent and Velvet Revolver, by Mujahid) Rating: 108lbs
He was unsold at € 20,000 at the Deauville yearling sales but won for his debut at Deauville at 2. He then failed to reach a podium in the pattern circuit, but he neared that goal several times until taking third place in this race last year, after leading most of it. He confirmed by winning the Prix du Cercle (L) the following summer in Deauville before failing in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp (Gr1), his last outing.

10. Morning Basma (m4, FRA by Born To Sea and La Ville Lumière, by Rahy) Rating: 84lbs
The only filly at the start here, she was bought for € 65,000 at the Deauville yearling sales. Fifth for her debut at 2, she then always finished on the podium but won her first race only last July. Placed two more times since then, she competes in her first Group race and has never even participated in a Listed event.