06/02/2017 12:56PM

Brametot tries longer distance in French Derby


Brametot, the winner of the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville on May 14, will face a distance test in Sunday’s Group 1 French Derby at 1 5/16 miles at Chantilly Racecourse north of Paris.

Brametot has won five of six starts for trainer Jean Claude Rouget and owners Al Shaqab Racing and Gerard Augustin-Normand. He is unbeaten in two starts this year at a mile, the longest races of his career – the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau at Chantilly on April 16 and the French 2000 Guineas.

As of Friday, Brametot was about 9-5 with European bookmakers for the $1,690,200 French Derby, a strong choice over the group stakes winners Recoletos (4-1) and Rivet (8-1) in the field of 12.

Brametot will be ridden by Cristian DeMuro and is part of a field of 12. A colt by Rajsaman, Brametot tends to run from off the pace. He won the 2000 Guineas by a short head as a 4-1 shot over 16-1 Le Brivido, who is not part of the French Derby field. In the Prix de Fontainebleau, Brametot broke poorly and took the lead in the final quarter-mile to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

Sunday’s race does include runners proven at the distance, notably Recoletos and Soleil Marin. Those two, along with Bay of Poets, were supplemented for approximately $81,000 this week.

Recoletos has won his last three starts, including the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at 1 1/4 miles at Saint-Cloud on May 8, beating Waldgeist, who is part of the French Derby field. Waldgeist, trained by Andre Fabre, won the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud at 1 1/4 miles last October and had his first start of the year in the Prix Greffulhe.

Soleil Marin won the Group 3 Prix Noailles at 1 5/16 miles at Chantilly on April 16 and is on a four-race winning streak for Godolphin Racing and Fabre. The French Derby will be the Group 1 debut for Soleil Marin.

Bay of Poets, owned by Godolphin, was second in the Dee Stakes at Chester, England, on May 12.

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Rivet, third in the French 2000 Guineas, is considered a threat to the favorite. Trained in England by William Haggas, Rivet will start in the longest race of his career. He won the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at a mile at Doncaster, England, last October.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has three runners, all outsiders – Orderofthegarter, Taj Mahal, and War Decree.

War Decree, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore, won the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at seven furlongs at Goodwood, England, last July and was second as the 2-1 favorite in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at a mile at Newmarket, England, on April 20 in his 3-year-old debut.

The French Derby distance will be a new test for War Decree, a Kentucky-bred colt by War Front and the only American-bred in the field.