Day At The Track

Stars set to shine in the Prix Jules Lemonnier

08:08 AM 20 Dec 2013 NZDT
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Franck Leblanc, harness racing Louis Baudron, harness racing Sebastien Guarato, harness racing
Franck Leblanc trains both Utoky and Sourire de Voutre
Louis Baudron trains Singalo
Sebastien Guarato trains both Roxane Griff and Reve de Beylev

A stellar monte field including last year's Prix du Cornullier winner Singalo and two of France's top mares Save The Quick and Roxane Griff line up for the Prix Jules Lemonnier, a group two over the sprint distance of 2175m at Vincennes and a preparatory race for the Group I Prix du Cornulier on the weekend before the Prix d'Amerique.

Singalo is a monster at monte. The son of Goetmals Wood won both the Prix de Cornulier and the other group one of the Winter Season Prix De l'Ile-De-France earlier this year and has also won ten group two races under saddle.

Louis Baudron's stallion has not started under saddle since the Prix De l'Ile-De-France win and has been underwhelming in the bike, including two poor performances in the two B races in this season's winter series. But he is a different horse under saddle, in fact has never placed in a group race in the bike, and we are likely to see the true Singalo here.

Sebastien Guarato's Roxane Griff is the top mare of the much-vaunted R generation and is the top earner of a field which includes four millionaires and no less than 11 which have won over 700,000 euros.

The daughter of Tenor de Baune won the Prix Reynolds at the start of the winter meeting, her first monte race in more than three and half years and looks like being a leading contender for the Prix de Cornulier in the third week of January.

Save the Quick is the multi-talented mare from Franck Leblanc's Ecurie Quick Star operation and is a former runner up in the Prix de Cornullier, a winner of the group one Prix de Normandie and a third in the Prix De l'Ile-De-France. The daughter of Jasmine de Flore is also a world record holder on the bike and won the European Mares Championship this season.

Quarry Bay was second in both this year's Prix de Cornulier an Prix De l'Ile-De-France and was second in the Prix Reynolds at the start of this winter season. Mike Lenders' daughter of Cygnus d'Odyssee is nearing the million euro mark in earnings and is still capable of running a high placing at this level.

Another leading chance by Cygnus d'Odyssee is Franck Leblanc's colt Utoky, the leading monte specialist of the U-generation and a winner of both the Prix De Vincennes (Gr1) and Prix du President de la Republique (Gr1) and three group two montes as well. It might be a year too early for the five-year-old, although he is a rare talent under saddle.

The race will also be the swansong for three 10-year-olds whohave reached the maximum age for participation in French group racing, although the European circuit is still open to them.

The best of them is undoubtedly Picsou de Villabon a former winner of the Prix De l'Ile-De-France and five group twos although he has not won since that group one win in early 2011, and has spent much of his time at stud - to where he will probably retire on a permanent basis.

Also making their last hurrah in group racing are Pluto du Vivier, who has won two minor group twos, and Paladin Bleu a group two place-getter who appeared on the Tour Europeen du Trotteur Francais this season and may return again next season although he does have a stud career he can retire to.



21/12/13 FR Group II Int 2175m 5-10YOs monte €120,000

1 Quassia du Bon Air (9g Capriccio - Io de Courson) Rd: Adrien Lamy Tr: Bruno Marie

2 Uppercut du Rib (5h Quadrophenio - Galinette Cendree) Rd: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais

3 Utoky (5h Cygnus d'Odyssee - Epopee) Rd: Franck Nivard Tr: Franck Leblanc

4 Sourire de Voutre(7g Gazouillis - Goella) Rd: Damien Bonne Tr: Franck Leblanc

5 Taiga du Rib (5m Nice Love - Galinette Cendree) Rd: Yoann Lebourgeois Tr: Joel Hallais

6 Paladin Bleu (10h Jag de Bellouet - Una Picolina) Rd: Margot Grolier Tr: Loic Thieulent

7 Picsou de Villabon (10h Speed Clayettois - Ghiza du Chene) Rd: Medhy Hadjira Tr: Patrick Labrousse

8 Pluto du Vivier (10g Extreme Dream - Iguine du Vivier) Rd: Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Jean Christophe Sorel

9 Risque Tout (8g Giant Cat - Little Pearl) Rd: Julien Raffestin Tr: Gerard Paille

10 Quarry Bay (9m Cygnus d'Odyssee - Barcarolle) Rd: Camille Levesque Tr: Mike Lenders

11 Reve de Beylev (8h Fortuna Fant - Heloise Poterie) Rd: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Sebastien Guarato

12 Singalo (7h Goetmals Wood - Ingala) Rd: David Thomain Tr: Louis Baudron

13 Save The Quick (7m Jasmin de Flore - Heureuse Duchesse) Rd: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Franck Leblanc

14 Roxane Griff (8m Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise) Rd: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato

by David Sanders for


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