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News In Brief

18 January 2022


Last week we noted Léo Abrivard had taken out a Trainers Licence. We can now follow-up this story with him recording his first winner. It was with his first starter at Vincennes, Jaguar du Gite, representing the stable he is training for, Georges Lelièvre's. Success continued with a placing on Saturday in Angers and further success at Vincennes on Sunday with Héroïne du Gîte. He also drove the next winner Ile Déserte.   

G1 Prix de Cornulier

Sunday will see the first Group One of the season at VincennesPrix de Cornulier (2700m), the Classic mounted race for five years and above. Here is the latest news about the event.    

Matthieu Abrivard has announced he will be riding defending winner Bahia Quesnot. Following his race fall in December and subsequent recovery, this will be his first mounted ride since returning to the racetrack. A five-time winner of the Prix de Cornulier, Matthieu Abrivard indictaed he is receiving ongoing rehabilitation therapy and wants to be ‘right’ on the day.   

Trainer Joël Hallais has decided five-year-old Hirondelle du Rib will start in the Prix de Cornulier. The mare is going well following her victory in the G2 Prix Emile Riotteau at Vincennes last Saturday week and whilst facing a far tougher test, she is currently in good form.   

Winner of the G2 Prix du Calvados at Vincennes last Sunday week, Fantasie will take her place in the Prix de Cornulier. Owner Tanguy de La Bourdonnaye and trainer Nicolas Bridault have engaged Yoann Lebourgeois to ride the mare thereby replacing usual rider François Lagadeuc as he is engaged to ride Feeling Cash.    

One horse that won’t be taking his place in the Prix de Cornulier is Fado du Chêne. He is suffering from tendonitis and will not race again this winter but will perform stud duties in the spring at Avireau stud farm, in Mayenne.   


The Dubai Carnival commenced last Friday, and Olivier Peslier rode his first winner at Meydan in seven years when he scored on German bred Peveensey Bay, winning the G2 Cape Verdi Stakes with a display of acceleration to gain a clear run on the outside.    

The ‘Magic Million’s' yearling sales on the Gold Coast in Australia set new records this past week and there is a French connection. A horse by the name of Suspicious (by Elusive City) was bought at the Arqana breeding sale in 2013 for €58.000 and headed to Australia. She had been trained by William Walton in France and retired with a win and Listed placing. As a broodmare in Australia she has produced a G2 winner (Dubious). Her third foal by I Am Invisible was presented to the sales this week and was bought for A$1.9m (€1.21m), thereby topping the sale. He is to be trained by Chris Waller.    

Seventeen French horses have been entered for the Saudi Cup Meeting to be run on the last Saturday in Februay. Nominations for the G1 Saudi Cup (1800m) are headed by last years’ winner and victor of the 2020 Prix du Jockey Club Mishriff. There are five French nominations – Dawn Intello, Grand Glory, Magny Cours, Sealiway and Skalleti. The first three also have an entry in the G3 Neom Turf Cup (2100m). In the G3 Red Sea Turf Handicap (3000m) Skazino has been allotted 58kg, Glycon 56.5kg, Baratti 50.5kg (these two horses also nominated in the G3 Neom Turf Cup and Karlstad has 53.5. The mares Ebaiyra and Eudaimonia are also in the Neom Turf Cup. Currently there are 339 nominations for the G3 Saudi Derby (1800m) including filly Jacinda and My Fancy. Amilcar, Bellharbour Music, Colosseo, and Manjeer are entered in the G3 Turf Sprint (1350m) with the latter two also included in the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint (1200m).    


The jumping season at Cagnes-sur-Mer concluded last Sunday week and for the ninth time, Yannick Fouin headed the trainers standings with thirteen winners. He was followed by Mathieu Pitart and Pierre Fertillet, both with nine. In the jockeys’ rankings both Tanguy Andrieux and Dylan Ubeda rode nine winners and Adrien Mérienne was third with seven victories.   

Winner of the Prix de Navarrenx at Pau, on 14 December, Instit has been sold to a client of Irish trainer Willie Mullins. A steeplechase career has been earmarked for her.