By Scott Burton 6:43PM 30 SEP 2016
FOUR-TIME Cravache d’Or Dominique Boeuf is these days a reassuringly expert presence behind the microphone as a pundit on racing channel Equidia.
And he has fond memories of his first encounters with the full mile and a half course at Chantilly, while apprenticed to Patrick Biancone in the 1980s.
Boeuf was a member of the ‘four musketeers’ as Biancone – always keen to exploit talented young riders – brought through a wave of future cracks.
“Years ago there were far fewer meetings at Chantilly than today and we didn’t get to ride the full Jockey Club track very often,” says Boeuf.
“So Patrick Biancone would take the four of us – William Mongil, Gerald Mosse, Eric Legrix and myself – for a walk of the track.
“He stood us in the stalls and pointed us at the outside rail, telling us to ‘cut the cheese’. He really taught us the best route to take to save ground and to get a good position.”
Boeuf was champion in 1991, 1998, 2001 and 2002 and – still down to his fighting weight – is now an unmissable part of French TV coverage of any major raceday, both at home as well as at Ascot and the Breeders’ Cup.
Legars lacks the hot hand
Not every horse among the 16 runners for Sunday’s big race was represented at Friday morning’s draw ceremony.
Former Miss France Elodie Gossuin did the honours for those owners or trainers that couldn’t be at Saint-Cloud racecourse for the draw, presided over by Liz Price.
Coolmore’s French representative Mathieu Legars was a busy man, being called to the stage three times to pick out the balls for the Aidan O’Brien camp.
Things didn’t begin well for Legars, who drew 16 of 16 for Order Of St George, before telling Price: “Frankie Dettori can handle any draw.”
A second trip to the dais produced the 12 stall for Ryan Moore’s mount Found and, it was then with an understandably weary gait that Legars returned to draw box 11 for Highland Reel.
Will Aidan leave it to Elodie next time ?
Talismanic more than just a pretty face
Every runner saddled in the Arc by Andre Fabre demands maximum respect and Talismanic is likely to live up to the tradition of the stable’s less obvious runners outrunning his odds.
Godolphin’s Medaglia D’Oro colt won the same Saint-Cloud Listed as Penglai Pavilion before that horse went on to be fifth in Treve’s first Arc at odds of 40-1.
Supporters will certainly see where their money goes at the bay Talismanic has an almost completely white face.
And Mickael Barzalona will once again be aboard, having passed up theoretically better-fancied rides in both the Prix du Jockey Club – in which the pair were an unlucky fourth – and the Grand Prix de Paris.
Fabre revealed before the Jockey Club: “Talismanic is a horse with a fantastic personality and everyone loves him so it would have been hard for Mickael to desert him.”