06/06/2009 11:00PM

Le Havre completes a triple for connections


Le Havre capped a huge day for Jean-Claude Rouget and Christophe Lemaire at Chantilly on Sunday as he came with a late run to win the $2 million Prix du Jockey-Club, or French Derby. The victory by Le Havre, the French 2000 Guineas runner-up, completed a stakes triple for the white-hot trainer/jockey tandem, as they had earlier teamed to produce Quetsche in the 1 1/2-mile, Group 3 Prix de Royaumont and Oiseau de Feu in the one-mile, Group 3 Prix Paul de Moussac.

Lemaire gave the 11-1 Le Havre, an Irish-bred son of Noverre, a ground-saving ride, angling him out at the quarter pole and rallying to catch the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained Fuisse 150 yards from the line to win by 1 1/2 lengths. It was the same margin back to the Aidan O'Brien-trained Westphalia in third and the same again to the Aga Khan's supplemental entry Beheshtam, who was losing for the first time in three starts, all of them since May 11. The time for the 1 5/16 miles on good to soft ground was a quick 2:06.80.

The favored French 2000 Guineas winner, Silver Frost, failed to get the trip as he came home a one-paced sixth, 6 1/2 lengths behind Le Havre, whom he had beaten by two lengths in the one-mile Guineas.

Prior to the Guineas, Le Havre had caught the eye when defeating last year's French juvenile champ Naaqoos in the listed Prix Djebel. Rouget, who had also combined with Lemaire to win the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham with Homebound at Chantilly last Sunday, is now likely to give Le Havre the usual summer vacation to which French Derby winners have become accustomed.