Future plans remain fluid for El Bodegon after James Ferguson’s stable star got his season back on track by finishing second in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on Sunday.
Having provided his trainer with a first Group One victory in France last season, the Kodiac colt was considered a legitimate Derby contender this spring and returned in the Dante at York last month.
But after trailing home seventh of eight runners on the Knavesmire behind Saturday’s brilliant Epsom hero Desert Crown, El Bodegon lined up for the French equivalent 24 hours later with a point to prove.
While he proved no match for the hugely impressive winner Vadeni, the three-year-old showed talent and tenacity to beat Charlie Appleby’s Breeders’ Cup and French 2000 Guineas winner Modern Games to the runner-up spot – much to the relief of his trainer.
Ferguson said: “We were obviously delighted with the run – it’s huge coming second in a race like the French Derby. Credit to the winner, who was very impressive.
“We’ve always liked our horse and always had the impression that he’d trained on. There were excuses for the run at York and he obviously showed that he came on for the run.
“I think he’s proven the doubters wrong and it’s great to see him get back to form.”
El Bodegon’s big-race entries include the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
Given he has Australian owners, a potential trip Down Under has been mooted for later in the year, and Ferguson says all options are open.
He added: “We’re just letting the dust settle and then we’ll decide where we’re going.
“It’s completely their (owners) call and the discussion (about Australia) hasn’t even been had yet.”