Stormy Antarctic (right): bounced back to form in the Prix Jean Prat
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 11:45AM 11 JUL 2016
STORMY ANTARCTIC has been given the Prix Jacques le Marois as his main target by trainer Ed Walker after the three-year-old bounced back to form to finish second in the Prix Jean Prat on Sunday.
Owned by Siu Pak Kwan, Stormy Antarctic made a perfect start to the season when winning the Craven Stakes at Newmarket before finishing a disappointing 11th in the 2,000 Guineas.
However, given a break and a chance to get over a small setback, Stormy Antarctic found only Zelzal too good in the Group 1 at Chantilly on Sunday allowing Walker to make big plans for the remainder of the season.
He said on Monday: “I was absolutely delighted [with the run]. After the disappointment of the 2,000 Guineas and him suffering a setback, to get him right back to his best form is very satisfying.
“On a sounder surface he’s probably ready for a step up to ten furlongs, but when it’s softer a mile will be fine. There are loads of options but I think the Jacques le Marois will be his main target and we’ll hope for slightly slower ground.”
Zelzal one to avoid
The return to France for the Prix Jacques le Marois could mean running into Zelzal again. Walker, though, is hoping the ground might prevent the pair clashing again.
Speaking to At The Races, he said: “I wouldn’t be afraid of taking on any of the milers but I’m not that keen to take on Zelzal again. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up the best of the lot.
“Don’t get me wrong, The Gurkha and Galileo Gold are exceptional horses, but I was very impressed by that horse yesterday and I’d be keen to stay clear of him. I think he’ll be in search of fast ground so we’ll see.
“The Marois and Prix du Moulin are options, along with the QEII at the end of the year. He won’t go to Goodwood. He runs very well fresh, he’s proved that a number of times so the Marois would be the perfect gap.”