Christophe Soumillon celebrates Vadeni’s easy French Derby win
By Scott Burton, France correspondent
Sunday: Prix du Jockey Club, Chantilly
Just 24 hours after Desert Crown had put away his Derby rivals in a matter of strides at Epsom, Vadeni produced a similarly dominating display in sweeping aside El Bodegon and Longchamp Guineas winner Modern Games to score in the manner of a new star in France.
In doing so he provided the Aga Khan with the perfect way to celebrate 100 years of the family’s involvement in the sport, 16 years on from their last success in the race with Darsi.
That was also the most recent of Christophe Soumillon’s three previous Jockey Club wins and he was able to celebrate a scintillating success well before the line.
“I swept past my rivals between the 400 and the 300-metre marks and after one light tap with the whip, he completely took off,” he said. “It was impressive and I certainly didn’t expect what he did there. It was something totally out of the ordinary.
“I’ve wanted to win another Classic for the prince for a long time. And from Jean-Claude Rouget and his team, the preparation was done with the skill of goldsmiths.”
Rouget has become the undisputed master of the modern Jockey Club over an extended mile and a quarter and was saddling his fifth winner and his fourth since 2016.
He was in no doubt in the immediate aftermath that we had all just witnessed a colt who will challenge Desert Crown for end-of-season honours.
He said: “I knew he was a horse with a lot of talent even if he is not over-big and today he just exploded. Quite often this race turns up horses that haven’t previously performed at Group 1 level, we saw it with Almanzor and Sottsass and again today with him. He’s a lighter model than those two but he has the same sort of class so he should have a very interesting career.”
Rouget added: “We prepared him for this day and he won the Prix de Guiche very easily. But just as in rugby, you still need to kick the conversion.
“He did it in great style and now he’ll need to really show us what he’s made of because he didn’t just win today, he strolled away with it. It’s a few years since I’ve seen a horse run away with this breed and there were good horses in behind.”
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Vadeni draws well clear of his rivals at Chantilly
Paddy Power and Coral both introduced Vadeni at 8-1 for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, third in the list behind 2-1 favorite Desert Crown and Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn.
Rouget did not rule out the Longchamp showpiece with the son of Churchill but made clear his main priority was to win an all-aged Group 1 at around this intermediate trip.
“When you have a horse that is so good over 2,100 meters I prefer to keep them at that trip,” said Rouget. “To begin with he’ll take the Almanzor route and maybe at the end of the year we might have a go at the Arc.
“For now he’ll stay at 2,000 meters. He’ll run in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville [on August 15] unless the ground is really heavy, as I think he’s a good-ground horse. Then if things go well the Irish Champion Stakes, which provided me with my best memory of Almanzor.”
Rouget used the same race for Sottsass before he won the Arc in 2020.
Prix du Jockey Club: full result and analysis
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