Dark Angel's Angel Bleu On Top In The Criterium International

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Angel Bleu | Scoop Dyga

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Marc Chan's 2-year-old colt Angel Bleu (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) backed up a win in Goodwood's July 27 G2 Vintage S. in July with a career high in this month's G1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp and doubled his elite-level tally with a game victory in Saturday's G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud. The Listed Pat Eddery S. runner-up had earlier collected wins at Salisbury and Pontefract and, in the absence of late scratching Glounthaune (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), went postward as the 17-10 second choice for the one-mile test. Steadied to race off the tempo at the tail of the six-runner field, he was angled to the outside off the home turn and kept on strongly once launching his challenge with 350 metres remaining to deny the rallying Lagardere third Ancient Rome (War Front) by a head.

“He really is extraordinary and you don't get horses like this very often,” said Ralph Beckett. “We haven't had one like him and I'd say the softest part of him is his tooth enamel. He's danced every dance and I thought [racing manager] Jamie McCalmont summed it up very well earlier in the week when he said it's a privilege to be involved with him. It really is a privilege, horses like this don't come along very often and I'm very proud of him. He had a tough race in the Lagardere and he really does have the most extraordinary constitution. Any horse that can do what he's done has to have a fantastic constitution. Soft ground is very important to him and the form book tells you that. Whatever happens next, he's done it twice inside a month in a different country, which takes a lot of doing.”

Looking ahead to Classic targets for next year, the trainer added, “If I was going to bet on it, at this stages I'd say he's likely to turn up at Longchamp [for the G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains] rather than Newmarket [for the G1 2000 Guineas]”

Angel Bleu, half-brother to a yearling colt by Siyouni (Fr) and one of nine Group 1 winners for his sire (by Acclamation {GB}), is the first of two foals produced by a full-sister to MG1SW sire Highland Reel (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). His dam Cercle de La Vie (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a daughter of G2 South Australian Oaks runner-up Hveger (Aus) (Danehill), is also a full-sister to G1 Caulfield S. hero Cape of Good Hope (Ire), MG1SP G2 Great Voltigeur S. and G2 Hardwicke S. victor Idaho (Ire) and G3 Ballysax S. victor Nobel Prize (Ire). The February-foaled bay's G1 Australia Oaks-winning third dam Circles of Gold (Aus) (Marscay {Aus}) threw MG1SW Australian champions Elvstroem (Aus) (Danehill) and Haradasun (Aus) (Fusaichi Pegasus). Circles of Gold is the leading performer for Olympic Aim (NZ) (Zamazaan {Fr}), whose descendants include MG1SW sire Starspangledbanner (Aus) (Choisir {Aus}) and G1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas victrix Amicus (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}).

Saturday, Saint-Cloud, France
CRITERIUM INTERNATIONAL-G1, €250,000, Saint-Cloud, 10-23, 2yo, c/f, 8fT, 1:44.40, vsf.
1–ANGEL BLEU (FR), 126, c, 2, by Dark Angel (Ire)
1st Dam: Cercle de la Vie (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Hveger (Aus), by Danehill
3rd Dam: Circles of Gold (Aus), by Marscay (Aus)
(€120,000 Ylg '20 ARDEAY). O-Marc Chan; B-Pan Sutong Racing Bloodstock (FR); T-Ralph Beckett; J-Frankie Dettori. €142,850. Lifetime Record: GSW-Eng, 7-4-1-1, €492,051. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ancient Rome, 126, c, 2, War Front–Gagnoa (Ire), by Sadler's Wells. O-Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier & Westerberg; B-Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt (KY); T-Andre Fabre. €57,150.
3–Purplepay (Fr), 122, f, 2, Zarak (Fr)–Piedra (Ire), by Lawman (Fr). (€100,000 Ylg '20 ARQSEP). O-Jean-Pierre-Joseph Dubois; B-Mme Lisa Lemiere Dubois (FR); T-Cedric Rossi. €28,575.
Margins: HD, 1 1/4, HD. Odds: 1.70, 1.20, 4.30.
Also Ran: Aikhal (Ire), Toimy Son (Fr), Oscula (Ire). Scratched: Glounthaune (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by TVG.

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