Almanzor: French Derby winner could be next seen at Deauville
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Scott Burton 9:59AM 15 JUL 2016
France: Jean-Claude Rouget has unveiled ambitious plans for his armada of talented three-year-olds, with raids on Goodwood, Longines Irish Champions Weekend and Qipco Champions Day at Ascot, as well as an attempt at an elusive first Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with unbeaten dual Classic winner La Cressonniere.
Rouget has dominated the first half of the year, scoring six Group 1 victories with five different horses, all of them of the Classic generation.
Though the form of the Investec Derby received far more of a boost via Red Verdon and Cloth Of Stars in Thursday evening’s Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris, Rouget is undeterred when it comes to campaigning his French Derby winner, Almanzor.
Almanzor aimed at Leopardstown and Ascot
“He seems like a specialist over 2,000 metres [1m2f] so he will make his comeback in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville on August 15 in preparation for the Irish Champion Stakes on September 10,” said Rouget.
“He isn’t entered at the moment but there is a second entry stage on August 3 [at a cost of €22,500]. Depending on what he does this autumn we will discuss whether he is retired to stud at the end of the year or kept in training at four. But he will go on from Ireland to run at Ascot in the Champion Stakes if everything goes well.”
Almanzor came into the Prix du Jockey Club somewhat under the radar having finished third over an inadequate mile on his comeback before easily beating three inferiior rivals in the Prix de Guiche.
Rouget added: “He hasn’t had a hard year so far and I think he should have the reserves to run through the autumn, though we must see where he sits when he faces the older horses and he must run well first in the Guillaume d’Ornano.”
Read more on Jean-Claude Rouget’s plans for his stars in Saturday’s Racing Post – available on iPad from 8pm