Found A Force To Be Reckoned With – Weekend Review
In terms of excitement, punters cannot feel short-changed about a weekend in which there was something for everyone: drama in France, to heroics over the jumps.
First up France, where Aidan O’Brien was on the wrong side of a stewards’ enquiry at Longchamp where Gleneagles won the Group 1 Prix Jean Luc Lagardere with some authority, only to be demoted into second place for hanging into the horse who was promoted into first, Full Mast.
However, compensation could await for Gleneagles according to connections, who have the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes in their sight at Newmarket on October 17, and success there could see his odds of 8/1 for next year’s 2,000 Guineas cut even further.
O’Brien strengthened his Classic portfolio even further for next season when Found was arguably even more impressive than Gleneagles in winning the Group 1 Marcel Boussac.
It was a performance that got punters reaching for their wallets, as the filly has now been backed into 7/1 for the 1,000 Guineas and 6/1 for the Oaks. Considering the manner in which she quickened to leave her rivals toiling, Found will certainly be a force next spring.
Further drama was witnessed at Longchamp when Cirrus Des Aigles won a Group 2 on Saturday before being disqualified into fifth place. Some thought the decision was harsh, but the evergreen 8yo will have a chance to atone for this defeat when heading for Ascot’s Champion Stakes where connections are expecting an even bigger run (Saturday’s run was his first since June). Should Cirrus Des Aigles indeed improve for the outing – as he has in the past – then the 10/3 could look decent value.
St Leger winner, Kingston Hill, may also head for the Champion Stakes having finished a creditable fourth in the Arc de Triomphe, and he would be an interesting contender at Ascot should the ground come up very soft. At odds of around 12/1, and with the rain having now arrived this autumn, Kingston Hill may still have another Group 1 in him.
There will no further Group 1s for the Arc winner, Treve, who became the first back-to-back winner in 36 years, but will now be retired, as might Taghrooda, who finished third behind Treve, although her owners may still decide to go for the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Elsewhere in France, James Fanshawe’s High Jinx won the won the big staying event, the Group 1 Prix du Cadran, in the process marking himself down as an early candidate for next year’s Ascot Gold Cup. At the other end of the distance scale, David O’Meara won a second Group 1 this season when his with Move In Time took the Abbaye over 5f.
The final say, however, came over the sticks, where the popular, Sizing Europe, ensured there was not a dry eye in the Gowran Park grandstand on Saturday, digging deep to win the Grade 2 Champion Chase. Age proved no barrier for the 12yo as he saw off the favourite, Road To Riches, by a grueling head, and now goes for the Clonmel Oil Chase.