Day At The Track

200,000e Prix De L'Ile-de-France monte Sunday

12:42 PM 01 Feb 2014 NZDT
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Pierre-Joseph Goetz, harness racing Sebastien Guarato, harness racing
Pierre-Joseph Goetz is the race caller at Vincennes
Paris Turf Photo
Sebastien Guarato trains race favorite Roxane Griff

It's pretty safe to assume that French commentator Pierre-Joseph Goetz will have been doing some extra work memorising the horses heading into the Prix de l'Ille-de-France Sunday.

For the last time he commentated on a French group one monte, he had to some extra work after the race.

During the Prix de Cornulier, Goetz made every racing commentator's nightmare when he called the wrong horse all the way down the straight, only to realise his mistake just before the line and correctly called the winner of the world championship under saddle.

You won't see this on Equidea's, France's TV racing channel, replay however. He relaid the "live" commentary later so that posterity records that it was Roxane Griff and not Save The Quick who was fighting it out with Tiego d'Etang down the straight in France's biggest monte race.

Roxane Griff will be attempting to become only the fourth horse to complete the Prix de Cornulier and Prix de l'Ille-de-France double following Singalo last year and Oligo 1986-87, Reine du Corta 1990, and Singalo in 2013.

She faces an eight horse field, minus Tiego d'Etang, in the sprint championship under saddle (2175m) for 200,000 euros and a week after a gallant fourth in the Prix d'Amerique last week.

Sebastien Guarato's star mare will probably start favourite in the race with Quarry Bay, who galloped in the Prix de Cornulier.

Quarry Bay was second in this race last year, following a second-placed finish in the corresponding Prix de Cornulier and is perhaps due a change of luck for trainer Mike Lenders and rider Camille Levesque.

Quinoa du Gers is the only other horse to be backing up from the Prix d'Amerique but he is one of two horses who did not run in the Prix de Cornulier.

It will be Fabrice Souloy's son of Ganymede's fourth attempt at monte, in which he made a fourth placed debut at Sable Sur Sarther in June 1908. He did not improve on that in single attempts at Vincennes in 2011 and 2012. He has however had 19 wins in 79 starts in harness and earnings of 974,343 euros.

Franck Terry's Saphir de Morge was third in the Prix de Cornulier but has only won five of his 54 starts, his last win being nearly two years ago.

Joel Hallais' Taiga du Rib was fourth in the Prix de Cornulier, and has a record of six wins in 60 starts, with earnings of 738, 450 euros but the son of Nice Love was second in the group one Prix de Normandie under saddle in 2012 and won a group two monte last year.

There are no international entries this year. Scandinavian horses have had some success in this shorter monte with Sweden's Hot Tub (2008), Vaserbo Dayight (2005) and Revenue (2003) plus Denmark's Ejna Vogt (1984) all being past winners of the group one.


02/02/14 FR Group 1 monte Int 2 175 5-10 200 000

1 Unikaranes (s Montecatini - Pivoine des Hayes Alexandre Abrivard Laurent Claude Abrivard

2 Sakura Jiel (s Buvetier d'Aunou - Milady Jiel) Jk: Guillaume Martin Tr: Jean Luc Dersoir

3 Saphir de Morge (h Guenor - Folie de Morge) Jk: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Franck Terry

4 Son Alezan (h First de Retz - Kelle Ile) Jk: Adrien Lamy Tr: Franck Leblanc

5 Taiga du Rib (s Nice Love - Galinette Cendree) Jk: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais

6 Quinoa du Gers (h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Jk: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy

7 Quarry Bay (s Cygnus d'Odyssee - Barcarolle) Jk: Camille Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders

8 Roxane Griff (s Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) Jk: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato

by David Sanders for

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