This monday was also a big day on the « Plateau de Gravelle » with another two prep races for the Critérium des 3 ans.
The 4th race, the Prix Annick Dreux also called « Critérium des Pouliches » or previously Prix Queila Gédé (the race now bears the name of Queila Gédé’s recently-deceased breeder Annick Dreux) saw yet another demonstration from Ecurie Augustin-Normand‘s Union D’Urzy. This was Jos Verbeeck‘s third group win with the filly in as many outings. As in the Prix Reine Du Corta, she beat Une Lady En Or but this time Une Lady En Or was disqualified after a stewards’ enquiry. Union Quality took a good 2nd place for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Ecurie Victoria Dreams belongs to Jean-Philippe Dubois and family and has great sucess with its young stock. Philippe Allaire presented Upper Class and Johanna Lindqvist gave her a nice trip to take a reassuring third place. Union D’Urzy won in 1’16’3 over the 2700m grande piste. The time was not so impressive for fillies of this quality.
The equivalent for three year old colts is the Prix Jacques De Vaulogé and this race went rather faster : 1’15’2 over the same distance. Thierry Duvaldestin took a double with Uniclove and Uaukir. He drove Uniclove himself and Uaukir was driven by Frank Nivard. Uraki Des Sarts took a nice third place (if you speak french, I advise you to read Alexis Levy’s blog called « en pensant à Ferdinand »). Sebastien Guarato‘s star Uncaring finished well without worrying the leaders. It might be early to draw parallels but Ready Cash won this race in 2008… Thierry Duvaldestin might have big plans with this talented colt… Before looking too far ahead, the next race for these horses will be the Critérium des 3 ans in Vincennes December 11th.
In the second race, the Prix de Montignac-Charente there was a nice field. Robert Keeper (pronounced « Robert qui perds » which translates as « Robert the loser ») won his 4th consecutive race driven by Jos Verbeeck for Jean-Michel Bazire‘s training. The partnership : Verbeeck-Bazire has become more and more frequent sight on french race cards. Jean-Michel Bazire drove Romcok De Guez who was disqualified whilst fighting for third place. Robert Keeper beat Roberto Donati‘s two good mares, Quela Rive (2nd) and Roxana De Barbray (4th), Rambo Jet was third and Striking Actions was fifth putting an end to his series of victories.
The last race of the day, Prix De Bignones was open for two year old colts and geldings. There’s a lot of hypes surrounding the winner Volcan D’Urzy. This was his second victory in 4 outings. His two wins were very impressive. He raced just behind the leaders and when he found a gap he dominated his rivals easily. Jean-Philippe Dubois, his driver sat still in the sulky. Volcan D’Urzy is trained by Philippe Moulin and owned by Ecurie Victoria Dreams, he is by the very promising young stallion Password and Jabotte D’Urzy. Volcan D’Urzy cost 57 000€ on last years Vincennes Yearling auction.