04/05/2010 12:00AM

Gris de Gris wins Prix Edmond Blanc again


Gris de Gris successfully defended his Prix Edmond Blanc title at Saint-Cloud on Sunday as he led throughout to take the Group 3, $108,000 mile by two lengths from Skins Game. Confidently ridden by Christophe Lemaire, the 6-year-old gray son of Slickly reveled in the heavy ground as the even-money favorite, covering the distance in 1:50.30.

Gris de Gris was taking a measure of revenge on Skins Game, who had beaten him by a length into second place last time on March 13 when in receipt of seven pounds in the listed Prix Altipan over the Edmond Blanc course and distance. German invader Liang Kay was along for third on Sunday, a half-length behind Skins Game. Vertigineux, making his first start since having beaten Gris de Gris in the Group 2 Prix du Muguet on May 1, came home a one-paced fifth, 11 lengths back of the Jean-Claude Seroul-owned winner.

This year's Prix du Muguet, Saint-Cloud's annual May Day feature, looks like a hot race. Gris de Gris, who won the race in 2008, and Vertigineux will lock horns again, and they are likely to be joined by last year's two French classic mile winners, the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained filly Elusive Wave, and the Yves de Nicolay-trained colt Silver Frost.

Earlier on the Saint-Cloud card, Simon de Montfort threw his name into the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) ring with a three-quarter length victory over Pain Perdu in the listed $74,700 Prix Francois Mathet. Trained by Andre Fabre for Godolphin SNC, Simon de Montfort covered the 1 5/16 miles in 2:21.20 as the 7-5 favorite.

A son of King's Best and full brother to Group 2 Oettingen-Rennen winner Notability, Simon du Montfort was improving in his seasonal debut off an eighth-place finish behind Passion for Gold in last November's 1 1/4-mile Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud, which was also run on heavy ground. He is likely to have one more run before the Prix du Jockey-Club on June 6.