The second week of the summer meeting at Vincennes kicked off last night with the Prix Guy le Gonidec (€ 120 000, 2700m) for 3YO fillies.
The V generation has been completely dominated by fillies with four of the top five being of the fairer gender including the undisputed queenof the crop, Vanika du Ruel (Jardy) who was missing from this field as were number two and three fillies Vision Intense (Prodigious) and Vipsie Griff (Gros Grain).
But Valse Darling (Prodigious), Victoire (Kitko) and Vera Pierji (Otello Pierji ) who are all in the top ten – with earnings in excess of €340,000, all took the place in the lineup as did Jean-Pierre Dubois’ richly bred Viva Island and two other fillies with growing claims, Varade d'Hermine (Legs du Clos ) and Vive Daidou (Ouragan de Celland).
Franck Ouvrie had the Theirry Duvaldestin-trained Vera Pierji quickly out of the blocks but gave up her spot to Very Nice Girl (Jasmin de Flore) after an early duel, while Duvaldestin himself, had Vive Daidou well positioned after taking a position in the middle of the line at the start and he cruised up as the field crossed onto the main oval and took control.
Vive Daidou led the field at a leisurely clip for the opening 1200m, recording a 1.16.3 kr (2.02.8MR) and Duvaldestin increased that slightly asthey went through the first mile to 1.16.0kr (2.02.3MR).
As the field went up the rise Duvaldestin upped the ante and Vive Daidou had a three length lead as he they passed the 500m mark and increased this on the long sweep into the straight.
From there it was little more than a shake of the reins as he kept the filly balanced, while the closest runners could make no impression. It was from the rear that the swoopers came and Julien Dubois had Valse Darling flying late but could not quite make up the difference and had to settle for a narrow second – both recording a time of 1.14.4kr (1.59.8MR).
Victoire also made up plenty ground for third ahead of Viva Island and veteran owner-driver Jean Pierre Dubois’ while Varade d'Hermine in the hands of master reinsman Jean Michel Bazire finished fifth.
The winner Vive Daidou had earlier won the €100,000 Prix de la Journee des Turfistes at Vincennes during the Winter Meeting in February and was third in the Group II Prix Paul Leguerney in April where the winner was the favourite today was Varade d’Hermine. But the filly had experienced a few problems having broken during her previous three starts which included the Criterium des 4 Ans in July.
This was her fifth win in 26 career starts and brought her earnings up to €255,530. She is a daughter of Ourgan de Celland, a son of champion sire Goetmals Wood and out of Orange Douce, a daughter of Viking’s Way, who is a grandson of Bonefish.
Ourange Douce’s first two foals have been winners and she herself is the sister of useful performer Quandice winning €374,180 - mainly in the south at Marseilles and Cagnes Sur Mer - and two others who won the equivalent of US$100,000.
It is the family of the well performed Floridge (€439,831) who was second in both the Criterium 3 and 4 Ans (Group 1) and third in both the Criterium Continental and Prix du Bourbonnais – one of the four B races which qualify for the Pris D’Amerique.
In France winning times and money won is far less important than placing in the top five of classique (Group I) or semi-classique (Group II) races when the horse is competing against the very best of their crop – or in open company.
A horse can win more than €500,000 and have a decent sub-2.00 time and be rated less than a horse that placed fifth in Group I and earned less than half as much – an example being Pas Sans Toi (€516,000, 1’11”2 – 1.54.3) who is not at stud and Vaillant Cash (160,450 1’13.0 - 1.57.6) who is.
The former’s winnings are due to longevity while the latter won a Group II against the best in his crop and was third in the prestigious Group I St Leger and was disqualified from winning the Group I Criterium des Juenes for a rough gait in the straight, despite winning easily.
The win for Viva Daidou firmly puts her at the top of her family, and will make her a valued broodmare in the future for her owners Ecurie Daidou.
PRIX GUY LE GONIDEC (Group II) Vincennes
2700 3YOF € 120 000
1 Vive Daidou (Ouragan de Celland-Orange Douce) Tr/Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin 1.14,4 € 54,000
2 Valse Darling s (Prodigious-Fly Darling) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 1.14,4 € 30,000
3 Victoire s (Kitko-Juventa Blue) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Danielle Mottier 1.14,5 € 16,800
4 Viva Island s (Goetmals Wood-Island Dream) Tr/Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois 1.14,5 € 9,600
5 Varade d'Hermine s (Legs du Clos-Hotesse des Champs) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin 1.14,6 € 6, 000
By Dave Sanders