Air Pilot was a comfortable winner in France on Wednesday
PICTURE: MARK CRANHAM
By Bruce Jackson 7:04PM 22 JUN 2016
AIR PILOT won the second Group 3 of his career on Wednesday, enjoying a return to softer ground with a comfortable win in the Prix La Coupe at Chantilly.
Sent off the 21-10 favourite, Air Pilot asserted himself inside the final furlong to get the better of the Andre Fabre-trained Elliptique, with German raider Night Wish in third.
Trainer Ralph Beckett turned to Christophe Soumillon for the first time, with Fran Berry riding at Salisbury, and the new partnership hit it off with a smooth two-length win.
Beckett said: “I don’t think he had to be at his best to win but it is nice to get his head back in front as this had always been the plan.”
Air Pilot could bid to put the record straight in Germany next month with a return trip to Munich for the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis-Bayerisches, for which he was hot favourite last year, but suffered an incident at the start.
“He got his leg over the stall and had to be withdrawn,” recalled Beckett.
Earlier on Chantilly’s card on Wednesday William Haggas was out of luck as Dante sixth Victory Bond could manage only fourth of five in another Group 3, the Prix Daphnis.