Nine go for Fast-Track Qualifier in France tomorrow

February 16th, 2018 Fast-Track Qualifier

Group Three runner-up Royal Julius heads nine runners for the €52,000 Listed Prix Saonois (3.15pm GMT) over a mile at Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, tomorrow, Saturday, February 17.

The Polytrack contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Sun Bets Mile Championships on the same surface at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.

Royal Julius (Jerome Reynier/Vincent Cheminaud) was successful on two of his six starts in 2017, including a Listed contest at Nantes in July, before going down by a short-head in the G3 Premio Ribot Memorial at Capanelle, Italy, in September, both on turf.

The Robert Collet-trained Nice To See You (Gregory Benoist) is also a winner at this level, having captured the Listed Prix Tantieme on heavy going at Saint-Cloud in November.

He has since finished fifth in the Listed Prix Luthier on Polytrack at Deauville on December 16, one place and a neck behind Lucky Team (Joel Boisnard/Hugo Journiac) who opposes again.

Roc Angel (Fabric Chappet/Tony Piccone) captured a mile handicap on Polytrack at Deauville in April and took third in a G3 contest over the same distance on turf at Chantilly in June.

The four-year-old son of Rock Of Gibraltar has not raced since September when he trailed home last in a 10-furlong conditions race on turf at Le Lion-D’Angers.

Chappet said today: “Roc Angel was gelded at the end of last year, which is why he hasn’t raced since then.

“This race looks a good starting point for the season and he won’t mind the drop back to a mile.

“He is definitely a different horse this year. He was already a good horse, but was not so consistent towards the end of last year.

“He was a bit too keen and fresh over a mile and a quarter last time. He has run a lot over a mile and it will not be a problem for him.

“I am sure he will run a good race tomorrow and we will see from there. We have plenty of options for him and why not keep on going towards the final in England while we can?”

The line-up also features Listed runner-up Miracle Des Aigles (Corine Barande-Barbe/Ronan Thomas) and last time out Polytrack scorer Time’s Arrow (Philippe Sogorb/Stephane Pasquier).