Frankel's L'Astronome Battles To Hocquart Success

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L'Astronome | Scoop Dyga

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He had to fight to extend his winning sequence on his black-type bow on Thursday, but Al Asayl France's L'Astronome (GB) (Frankel {GB}–Tymora, by Giant's Causeway) proved equal to the task when eking out a narrow verdict over Galaxie Gold (Fr) (Dariyan {Fr}) in a thriller for ParisLongchamp's G2 Prix Hocquart. Sent off the 7-10 favourite for the 11-furlong test, having shown abundant promise so far and having scored over slightly shorter at this track last time Apr. 28, the Francis-Henri Graffard-trained chestnut was unable to get a lead from the outset with Christophe Soumillon committed to going on before halfway. Tackled on both sides in what would have been a long last furlong for connections, he refused to allow Ecurie d'Haspel's rail-runner the glory and thrust his neck out to prevail by a head, with 3/4 of a length back to the G3 Bavarian Classic scorer Lavello (Ire) (Zarak {Fr}) in third.

“I think it was a nice performance,” Graffard said. “Christophe feared he might be caught for speed with this horse and so took up his responsibilities. He said the horse is still green and immature and was asked to do something he had never done before, so this education will certainly help him in the future. The horse was courageous and brave and he is now three-for-three this season. The owners will enjoy this and we will now concentrate on our target, the G1 Grand Prix de Paris on July 14th. Hopefully the ground will be even faster and he will appreciate the extra furlong.”

Galaxie Gold is also unexposed and trainer Damien de Watrigant was considering a rematch in the Bastille Day feature. “We are delighted with the performance and frustrated to lose by so little,” he said. “Anyway, we were taking quite a few steps up in class there and the result is positive. The horse seemed quite impressed to run on such a big course and will learn from the experience. The owner now has a partner, so they will discuss his future and there are still some questions to be answered like will he stay a mile and a half and be back for the Grand Prix de Paris?”

L'Astronome, who becomes the 64th group winner for his sire, is a half-brother to the G2 Coventry S.-placed Eltezam (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), with the second dam being the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup heroine Shiva (Jpn) (Hector Protector). She produced the Listed Prix Zarkava winner and G2 Prix Corrida runner-up That Which Is Not (Elusive Quality), whose G3 Ballysax S.-winning son Piz Badile (Ire) (Ulysses {Ire}) could be even bigger things for the pedigree in the upcoming Derby. Shiva is also the second dam of the G2 Gimcrack S. and G2 Champagne S. winner Threat (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}), as well as being a half-sister to the G1 Oaks heroine Light Shift (Kingmambo) who is responsible for Piz Badile's G1 Juddmonte International and G1 Eclipse S.-winning sire. This is also the family of the triple grade I-winning Main Sequence (Aldebaran) and the G1 Prix Ganay hero Cloth of Stars (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}). Tymora's colt foal is by Galiway (GB).

Thursday, ParisLongchamp, France
PRIX HOCQUART-G2, €130,000, ParisLongchamp, 5-26, 3yo, 11fT, 2:20.61, sf.
1–L'ASTRONOME (GB), 128, c, 3, by Frankel (GB)
     1st Dam: Tymora, by Giant's Causeway
     2nd Dam: Shiva (Jpn), by Hector Protector
     3rd Dam: Lingerie (GB), by Shirley Heights (GB)
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN; 1ST GROUP WIN. O/B-Al Asayl France (GB); T-Francis-Henri Graffard; J-Christophe Soumillon. €74,100. Lifetime Record: 4-3-1-0, €110,500. *1/2 to Eltezam (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), GSP-Eng. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Galaxie Gold (Fr), 128, c, 3, Dariyan (Fr)–Galaxie des Sables (Fr), by Marchand de Sable. 1ST BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. (€28,000 RNA Ylg '20 AROCT; €47,000 RNA 2yo '21 ARQJUN). O-Ecurie d'Haspel; B-Haras d'Haspel (FR); T-Damien de Watrigant. €28,600.
3–Lavello (Ire), 128, c, 3, Zarak (Fr)–Laura (Ger), by Montjeu (Ire). O-Gestut Ittlingen; B-Gestut Hof Ittlingen (IRE); T-Markus Klug. €13,650.
Margins: HD, 1 3/4, 1HF. Odds: 0.70, 10.00, 3.50.
Also Ran: Garachico (GB), Selwan (Ire). Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by TVG.

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