La Cressonniere is five from five after victory in the Prix de Diane
By Scott Burton 8:53AM 23 AUG 2016
POSTPONED yesterday hardened to 7-2 with bet365 and BetVictor for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and his trainer Roger Varian and jockey Andrea Atzeni will have a close-up view of one of his main rivals this afternoon as Nezwaah lines up in opposition to dual Classic heroine La Cressonniere in the Group 2 Prix de la Nonette at Deauville.
La Cressonniere is a general 12-1 fourth favourite for European racing’s middle distance highlight, and the unusual shape of today’s race should ensure that price doesn’t completely collapse should she stretch her unbeaten run to six.
Jean-Claude Rouget is responsible for four of the five starters in the Nonette – which is run over 1m2f and is at level weights.
La Cressonniere pleased in a recent racecourse gallop alongside Rouget’s Prix du Jockey Club winner Almanzor.
“The filly has been working well and Jean-Claude is very happy with her,” said Sylvain Vidal, racing manager to La Cressonniere’s owner-breeder Gerard Augustin-Normand. “A race is still a race but the reports from Cristian Demuro are very encouraging and it’s all systems go.
“We will see what happens in this race and take things one step at a time but the main objective is the Arc.”
As well as La Cressonniere’s pacemaker Ouezy, Rouget also fields Jemayel, who was last seen finishing third to Minding in the Nassau Stakes having not seemed entirely in love with the undulations at Goodwood.
The Rouget quartet is completed by Lakalas, who will carry the orange silks of Martin Schwartz for the first time and who made a good impression when pushing Prix de Diane runner-up Left Hand hard in the Prix de Psyche at the end of July.
Nezwaah made it three wins from four career starts when running out a clearcut winner of the Listed Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle over this trip in June.
Varian said: “I think this will tell us which direction to go with her and whether if she’s an Opera filly or a Vermeille filly, or whatever. She holds a St Leger entry, but I think that would be a doubt given she’s running over a mile and a quarter.”