Cristian Demuro salutes the crowd after Mont Ormel’s victory
By James Burn 6:42PM 14 JUL 2016
Report: France, Thursday
Saint-Cloud: Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (Group 1) 1m4f, turf, 3yo
PIA BRANDT enjoyed the biggest win of her career when Mont Ormel sprang a shock under Cristian Demuro in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Saint-Cloud on Bastille Day.
The Swedish-born Brandt is a rising star of the French training ranks and was denied her maiden Group 1 triumph when Camprock was defeated by the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Jemayel in the Prix Saint-Alary at Deauville in May.
Rouget was again in opposition, saddling the 17-10 favourite Mekhtaal, but he was among the first to congratulate his training counterpart after outsider Mont Ormel swept to a length-and-a-quarter verdict over the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Verdon, who was supplemented for the race at a cost of €43,200 this week.
Back in third was Godolphin’s Investec Derby eighth Cloth Of Stars, while Mekhtaal, so impressive in the Prix Hocquart for the all-conquering Rouget but only eighth in the Prix du Jockey Club last time, was fourth.
Beacon Rock, representing the Aidan O’Brien-Ryan Moore-Coolmore axis, was last of the eight runners.
A son of Air Chief Marshall, Mont Ormel was settled on the rail in midfield by Italian jockey Demuro, who has won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane on Rouget’s La Cressonniere this term.
He enjoyed a dream run and quickened to hit the front in the final two furlongs, responding gamely to his rider’s encouragement to repel Newmarket raider Red Verdon, who came from a long way back.
The winner runs in the colours of Gerard Augustin-Normand, who won the 2009 Prix de Jockey Club with Le Havre.
He was denied a crack at that year’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which Paddy Power quoted Mont Ormel at 33-1 for.
“I was not expecting to win”, said Brandt, whose challenger had bolted up on heavy ground at the far-from-glamorous Compiegne on his previous outing.
“We knew the horse had potential and the last race showed he was becoming a real horse, but today was serious and he did exactly what the jockey asked him.”
Brandt, who previous high score came with L’Amour De Ma Vie in the Group 2 Balanchine at Meydan in 2014, added: “We didn’t expect to win a Group 1 so now we’ll have to talk about what to do.”
Classic aim for Red Verdon
Dunlop is clear what he would like to do with Red Verdon, who was sixth in the Derby and fourth in the Irish equivalent after supplementary entries.
“We were planning to sit in the middle but ended up last and he took off from a long way back,” said Dunlop, who trains the son of Lemon Drop kid for Ronnie Arculli, whose best horse Red Cadeaux died last year.
“It looked like it’d still be enough to win but he flattened out a little. He’s improving. We haven’t won a Group 1 yet, but the way he’s going he will win one. He’ll have a rest and could go for the Voltigeur then St Leger.”