This year it has once again attracted a stellar field headed by Un Mec d’Heripre (Orlando Vici), Up And Quick (Buvetier d’Aunou) and Univers de Pan (Kenya du Pont).
Raced over 3000m it is a real test of the staying credentials and it has recently seen the best horse of their generation come undone.
You have to go back to the 2005 Criterium des 5 Ans, and Mealnes du Corta, the highest earner of the 2000 generation, to find the race won by the generation’s top earner.
Last year Timoko who was bidding to win all three of his generations Criterium to be come only the third horse to win all three Criterium - and for the first time since Fleuro Perrine in 1996 - only managed third behind arch rival The Best Madrik.
The previous year world record breaking mare Save The Quick, the current star of S generation broke during the running and was disqualified in a race which was won in the fasted recorded time by Scoop d’Yvel in 2011, who went 1.12.7kr (1.57MR). Tragically he collapsed and died the following year during the running of the Prix de Paris (Quadrophenio).
Current star Ready Cash, who his generation’s Criterium des 3 Ans was leading when he also broke about 1500m into the event which was won by Roc Meslois, while Quaker Jet, the highest earner of the and now a rising stallion completed a wretched run in the three Criteriums with a fourth behind Queen’s Glory.
A daughter of Love You (who was sixth in his final Criterium), Queen’s Glory was in fact the last mare to win the event and it is indeed a rare event for a mare to beat the best of generation’s stallions.
However some of the greatest mares (and broodmares) of French racing have in fact won this event, with probably the greatest being Roquepine and her grand dam Sa Bourbonnaise who are so influential today through the influence of their stallion descendants Florestan, Granit, Hermes and Sabi Pas.
In recent years the race has not been a great indicator of great stallion potential - winners Ozio Royal, Notre Haufor, Meaulnes du Corta, Ipson de Mormal, Handy Horse, Elito de Manerbe and even the great racehorse General de Pommeau, having not distinguished themselves at stud.
However Fleuron Perrine, Jasmin de Flore and Kenya du Pont since the turn of the millennium, have gone on to great success in the breeding barn to join greats like Defi d’Aunou, Coktail Jet, Tenor de Baune, Reve d’Udon and even further back breed changing sires like Jamin and Kerjacques. Kenya du Pont (Univers du Pan) and Coktail Jet (Udine) are the only two winners with a representative in Saturday’s race.
The winner of the 2008 generation’s Criterium 3 and 4 des Ans, Unique Quick had only won twice in nine runs since the latter win with three disqualifications and three non placings and hasn’t raced been seen on a racetrack since March 2 and is not in this field.
That leaves Un Mec d’Heripre, who was second in the Criterium de 4 Ans as now the pre-eminent horse of this generation having won the Group I Criterium Continental just before Christmas and has now won 5 of his last 8 races including the last two big 5 year-old-races including the Prix Jockey at the start of the Summer Meeting on the 19th August.
Univers de Pan was second that day and along with Uhlan du Val, who was third are likely to dominate betting once again on Saturday.
CRITERIUM DES 5 ANS Vincennes
3000m 5YO H & M € 240 000
1 Umoko (h Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Richard Westerink
2 Ulysse du Ravary (h Hugo du Bossis - Epee) Dr: Sebastien Hardy Tr: Sebastien Hardy
3 Up the Green (h Espeyrac Sun - Nemenine) Dr: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Franck Terry
4 Un Nuage d'Osmoz (h Nuage Noir - L'Etoile d'Escrit ) Tr/Dr: Emmanuel Allard
5 Une de Chelun (m Flash de Cosse - Malice d'Haufor) Dr: Bernard Piton Tr: Jean Marc Souici
6 Udine (m Coktail Jet- Idylle) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Jean Baudron
7 Usaurie de Melodie (m Okapi de Fael - Isaurie) Dr: Richard Joly Tr: Stephane Meunier
8 Ugo de Nieul (h Cygnus d'Odyssee -Harmonie de Nieul) Tr/Dr: Romain Derieux
9 Unikaranes (m Montecatini -Pivoine des Hayes) Tr/Dr: Laurent Claude Abrivard
10 Un Amour d'Haufor (h Love You-Glamour d'Haufor) Tr/Dr: Christian Bigeon
11 Ulk Medoc (h Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet) Dr: Franck Corbineau Tr: Lionel Cesar
12 Une Fille d'Amour (m Infant du Bossis-Never So Great) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Cyril Raimbaud
13 Used to Me (h Nuage de Lait-North Lane) Tr/Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Jean Etienne Dubois
14 Uhlan du Val (h Islero de Bellouet-Indiana Beautiful ) Tr/Dr: Cedric Megissier
15 Un Mec d'Heripre (h Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Fabrice Souloy
16 Up And Quick (h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Leblanc
17 Univers de Pan (h Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore) Tr/ Dr: Philippe Daugeard
by David Sanders