Prix du Jockey Club: Where Did They Come From?

Big Rock is bidding for a second Classic win for his trainer and owner-breeder | Scoop Dyga


Trainer Christopher Head and owner-breeder Leopoldo Fernando Pujals have already taken home the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches trophy with Blue Rose Cen (Fr) (Churchill {Ire}) and their year could become even more memorable should favourite Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) take another step forward in an impressive season to date. There's a strong homebred feel to the line-up, and only five of the runners have ever appeared at an auction. Four are graduates of the Arqana August Yearling Sale, while Winter Pudding (Fr) will be flying the flag for Osarus and the first crop of his sire Seabhac.

FLIGHT LEADER (GB), Frankel (GB) – Principal Role (Empire Maker)
Owner/Breeder: Juddmonte Farms
Trainer: Andre Fabre
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: From a family which has enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic, his dam was a four-time Listed winner who was third in the G1 Nassau S. and is a half-sister to the Grade I winner Midships (Mizzen Mast). After breaking his maiden at Chantilly last October, he landed the G3 Prix Noailles but disappointed on his latest start in the G3 Prix de Guiche. His sire has already been represented by one Classic winner this weekend in Oaks victrix Soul Sister (GB).

MARHABA YA SANAFI (Ire), Muhaarar (GB) – Danega (GB) (Galileo {Ire})
Owner: Jaber Abdullah
Breeder: Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd
Trainer: Andreas Schütz
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: The winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains hails from a family which includes Group 1 winners Intense Focus (Giant's Causeway) and Skitter Scatter (Scat Daddy). His second dam Danelissima (Ire) (Danehill) won the G3 Noblesse S. He should be capable of handling this extra distance.

RAJAPOUR (Ire), Almanzor (Fr) – Raydara (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire})
Owner/Breeder: HH The Aga Khan
Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: His dam won the G2 Debutante S., and has already produced the Group 3-placed Ridenza (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). Rajapour was unbeaten in three stars at two, including the Listed Prix Isonomy and took third in the Prix de Fontainebleau behind American Flag and Marhaba Ya Sanafi, but he has a little to prove after a lacklustre effort in the G3 Prix de Guiche.

PADISHAKH (Fr), Wootton Bassett (GB) – Penny Lane (Ger) (Lord Of England {Ger})
TDN Rising Star
Owner: Nurlan Bizakov
Breeder: Haras d'Etreham, Riviera Equine SARL & Ecurie de Montlahuc
Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget
Sales history: €130,000 Arqana August Yearling Sale
Pedigree notes/Form Analysis: The second foal of his dam, who won a Listed race over a mile at two and is a full-sister to Gestut Etzean's G1 Preis der Diana winner Palmas (Ger). Another to be unbeaten as a juvenile in two starts, he was runner-up to Big Rock in the G3 Prix La Force, and was 14 lengths adrift of that same horse when fourth on the G3 Prix de Guiche.

FEED THE FLAME (FR), Kingman (GB) – Knyazhna (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire})
TDN Rising Star
Owner: Ecurie Jean-Louis Bouchard
Breeder: Ecurie des Monceaux, Lordship Stud & Clear Light SAS
Trainer: Pascal Bary
Sales history: €270,000 Arqana August Yearling Sale
Pedigree notes/Form Analysis: A half-brother to the dual Grade III winner Sacred Life (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), he hails from the further family of St Leger winner Rule Of Law (Kingmambo). A late developer in comparison to some in the field, but he has impressed his trainer, and plenty of onlookers, enough to be supplemented for this Classic after two decisive wins at Longchamp in April.

ACE IMPACT (IRE), Cracksman (GB) – Absolutly Me (Fr) (Anabaa Blue {GB})
Owner: Ecuries Serge Stempniak
Breeder: Mrs Waltraut Spanner
Sales history: €75,000 Arqana August Yearling Sale
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: A half-brother to two minor stakes performers in Apollo Flight (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) and Alessandro (Fr) (Australia {GB}), their dam was also Listed-placed and has produced four multiple winners to date, three of which have earned black type. Made a winning debut at Cagnes-sur-Mer in January and has progressed since then to win twice more, including the Listed Prix de Suresnes. Should not be discounted among the Rouget trio.

WINTER PUDDING (FR), Seahenge – Darling Traou Land (Fr) (Iron Mask)
Owner: Thomas Lines
Breeder: J-C Ollivier
Trainer: Alessandro and Giuseppe Botti
Sales History: €18,000 Osarus September Yearling Sale
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: From the first crop of Haras de la Have Neuve's Seahenge, a son of Scat Daddy, Winter Pudding is the third foal and first winner for the claiming winner Darling Traou Land. He has proved a doughty campaigner so far, winning over 9.5f at Chantilly as a juvenile and again over 1m4f at Longchamp in the Listed Prix de l'Avre on his latest start.

AMERICAN FLAG (FR), Wootton Bassett (GB) – Tres Americanqueen (Fr) (American Post {GB})
Owner: Malcolm Parrish
Breeder: Chevotel De La Hauquerie
Trainer: Yann Barberot
Sales History: €102,000 Arqana August yearling
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: A half-brother to four individual winners, he is the eighth foal out of Tres Americanqueen, herself a half-sister to six black-type horses. They include German Derby runner-up Tres Blue (Ire) (Anabaa Blue {GB}). Impressive in his first two starts of 2023, he wasn't beaten far when fourth in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains.

CONTINUOUS (JPN), Heart's Cry (Jpn) – Fluff (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})
Owner: D Smith, Mrs J Magnier, M Tabor & Westerberg
Breeder: Orpendale, Chelston Ire & Wyatt
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: Out of a winning full-sister to Group 1 winner Maybe (Ire), this colt is bred on very similar lines to Saxon Warrior (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) from a family which includes the Oaks winner Dancing Rain (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). Made a previous visit to France to win the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon on his second start last year, and has run just once this season when dead-heating for third with Passenger (Ulysses {Ire}) in the G2 Dante S. The form of that race looks strong and he has the pedigree to be very classy indeed.

EPICTETUS (GB), Kingman (GB) – Thistle Bird (GB) (Selkirk)
TDN Rising Star
Owner/Breeder: George Strawbridge
Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: From a family which has served the late Lady Rothschild well, Epictetus is the fifth foal of the G1 Pretty Polly S. winner Thistle Bird and a half-brother to Group 3-winning miler Jumbly (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}). Despite triumphing in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom, a track on which his dam enjoyed noted success, the shorter French Classic was instantly nominated as the preference for Epictetus, who is from one of the most in-form stables in Britain.

BIG ROCK (FR), Rock Of Gibraltar (Ire) – Hardiyna (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire})
Owner/Breeder: Yeguada Centurion
Trainer: Christopher Head
Pedigree Notes/Form Analysis: The first foal out of an unraced full-sister to the Aga Khan's dual Derby winner Harzand (Ire), Big Rock has done nothing but impress this season with four straight wins since February, including two dominant performances in Group 3 trials. Admittedly, his turf form is all on soft ground, but the track appears to remain on the easy side at Chantilly, and he is a worthy favourite for his young trainer who has already won this season's Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.

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