Historic Saint-Legers meet starts at Caen

12:24 AM 15 May 2014 NZST
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Caen racetrack Jean Paul Marmion, harness racing Fabrice Souloy, harness racing
Historic Caen race meet begins today
Paris Turf Photo
Jean Paul Marmion trains both Talicia Bella and Roi du Lupin
Paris Turf Photo
Fabrice Souloy trains B Quinoa du Gers
Paris Turf Photo
The historic Saint-Legers des Trotteurs meeting kicks off today at Caen with a 2450m UET Masters series race, the time honoured Prix des Ducs de Normandie a group two worth 150,000 euros, in honour of a famous trotteur of the 1920s who won the 1928 Critrerium des 3 Ans and went on to be equally successful at stud.

The son of Salam was a prolific broodmare sire, and one his daughters produced the dam of Feu Follet, one of France's most influential sires.

Duc de Normandie's influence is still felt today, with last year's Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream (Love You) decending from one of the great horse's daughters Rose Marie IV, while two of France's successful sires Copenhagen Cup and Prix de France winner Kool du Caux and Criterium des 4 Ans winner Rolling d'Heripre (Dahir de Prelong) also trace to the great Duc on the maternal line.

Rolling d'Heripre is represented by Blooma d'Heripre in the Saint-Leger des Trotteurs which is one of two of France's most famous monte races which are run later today.

Indeed it was under saddle that some of Duc de Normandie's descendants excelled with top sire Gai Brillant (Podosis) and Fine Perle (Marpheulin) both being Saint-Leger winners themselves, while the monte millionaire of the 1990s Arcadia (Jiosco) won the Prix du Cornullier.

As befitting a race named after one of France's great stallions, some of giants of the game who have gone on to make their mark in the breeding shed feature heavily in the honours roll.

Reve d'Udon, a remarkable racehorse in his own right, a Criterium des 5 Ans winner in the bike and a Prix du Cornulier winner under saddle, is the grandsire of none other than Market Share, and he won this race twice in 1989 and 1990.

The world's leading sire for the past two seasons, Love You also won the race twice in 2004-2005 and he is represented in the Prix Henri Balliere later in the day by the hot favourite Airport and a second entrant in Aglite Jenilou.

Another former Prix de Ducs de Normandie winner is France's champion monte stallion Goetmals Wood who is the sire of top Saint-Leger chance Bomba.

The last two seasons the race has been won by Texas Charm, who was the favourite for this year's Prix d'Amerique until injury, while the previous two winners were emerging sire Quaker Jet ( a son of Love You) and Prix d'Amerique winner Oyonnax (In Love With You).

Jean-Paul Marmion's Roi du Lupin is the early favourite for this year's renewal, narrowly from Cedric Megissier 's Uhlan du Val and Fabrice Souloy's Quinoa du Gers.

Thierry Duvaldesin's tough gelding Swedishman, Christian Bigeon's Tiego d'Etang and Phillipe Moulin's Valse Darling from the Ecurie Victoria Dreams stable are the others in the market.

PRIX DES DUCS DE NORMANDIE - Caen

14/05/14 FR Group II Int UET Masters Series 2450m 4-10 150 000 euros

1 Volcan d'Urzy (h Password - Jabotte d'Urzy) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Philippe Moulin

2 Sam Gibus (g Jet Fortuna - Harmonie Gibus) Dr: Sebastien Baude Sebastien Baude

3 Radjah de Venel (g Vivaldi de Chenu - Fikla de Venel) Dr: Emeric Bizon Jean Paul Marmion

4 Turbo Jet (h Joyau d'Amour - Elite d'Atout) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Jean Etienne Dubois

5 Valse Castelets (m Memphis du Rib - Elide) Dr: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Joel Hallais

6 Valse Darling (m Prodigious - Fly Darling) Dr: Julien Dubois Philippe Moulin

7 Ramsey du Ham (g Indy de Vive - Ufania du Buisson) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Yvonnick Dousset

8 Axelle Dark (m Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Philippe Allaire

9 Swedishman (g Gogo - Volgana Thierry Duvaldestin) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin

10 Talicia Bella (m General du Pommeau - Illicia Bella) Dr: Antoine Wiels Jean Paul Marmion

11 Ru de l'Airou (g Cygnus d'Odyssee - Cour d'Intheville) Dr: Pierre Levesque Patrick Martin

12 Uhlan du Val (h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Cedric Megissier

13 Quinoa du Gers (h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Franck Nivard Fabrice Souloy

14 Reve de Beylev (h Fortuna Fant - Heloise Poterie) Dr: Eric Raffin Sebastien Guarato

15 Tiego d'Etang (h Chaillot - Harolene) Dr: Christian Bigeon Christian Bigeon

16 Roi du Lupin (g Fleuron Perrine - Helia de Saint Pol) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Jean Paul Marmion

by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

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