La Cressonniere: unbeaten this season, including two Classics
By Scott Burton 7:00PM 25 SEP 2016
LA CRESSONNIERE, France’s leading hope for next Sunday’s Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, has been ruled out of the race by trainer Jean-Claude Rouget after picking up a slight injury.
Unbeaten in eight starts, including the Classic double of the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and the Prix de Diane, La Cressonniere had been a best-priced 5-1 second favourite for the race, which is being run at Chantilly for the first time this year.
Rouget told France’s Jour de Galop: “After her canter on Saturday morning we noticed that she seemed to be feeling something behind. We have been obliged to put her on anti-inflammatories. Given the clearance period required for the prescription, it is impossible that she will line up next Sunday at Chantilly.”
Rouget said that he did not know the exact nature of the problem but that he expected La Cressonniere to make a full recovery.
“At the moment I can’t say whether the problem is with her pelvis, her vertebrae or elsewhere,” he said. “But I don’t think it is a very serious problem. The filly will be rested throughout the winter and will come back in 2017.”
La Cressionniere’s connections also have Irish Champion Stakes winner Almanzor as a potential Arc runner, but he remains very likely to head to Ascot for the Qipco Champion Stakes.
Found could head O’Brien challenge
Found, runner-up to ALmanzor in the Irish Champion Stakes, is on course to be part of Ballydoyle’s challenge on Europe’s most valuable race and trainer Aidan O’Brien said on Sunday: “Order Of St George, Found and Highland Reel are the three we have in mind for the Arc and we’ll finalise things during the week.
“It’s unlikely that Minding will run. We’ve three options for her at Ascot – the Fillies and Mares, the Champion Stakes or the QEII.”
Giving an update on dual Derby hero Harzand, trainer Dermot Weld said on Sunday: “Harzand is well and progressing. He will probably work on Tuesday and we’d like to see some rain at Chantilly.”
He added: “Fascinating Rock will also do a bit on Tuesday and we’ll decide whether he too goes of the Arc, or waits for the Champion Stakes at Ascot, a race he won last year.”
Quick going possible at Chantilly
Chantilly officials watered the course on Sunday evening after a forecast 5mm of rain largely failed to materialise.
Clerk of the course Mathieu Vincent recorded a penetrometer reading of 2.8 (good to firm) after only half a millimetre fell on Sunday.
With a dry outlook running up to the Arc, groundstaff put on a light sprinkling of water to maintain conditions.