Eton Rifles in the Contessina for third successive year

Eton Rifles - a liking for France

Eton Rifles - a liking for France

An injury setback at the start of the season meant trainer Stuart Williams had wait until Autumn before running his eight year old gelding Eton Rifles. It didn’t get in the way of his end of year target, and yesterday the horse notched up a three timer in the Prix Contessina at Fontainebleau.

In both 2011 and 2012 Eton Rifles had run seven times before heading over to France for this valuable Listed race, run over the idiosyncratic downhill six furlongs. This season, he didn’t appear until the Rous Stakes at Ascot at the beginning of October. That and a race at Doncaster right at the end of our flat season were on his agenda in the last couple of seasons, as Williams explained.

He said, “He had a small problem in the spring and then he couldn’t run in the summer because of the fast ground, so we decided to train him for the same two races at home and then back to Fontainebleau. He ran a cracking race at Ascot (he finished second) and I don’t think it was a bad effort in a better race than he won last year up at Doncaster.”

Andrea Atzeni was riding yesterday and must have been delighted with the trip across the Channel. Eton Rifles was up with the pace throughout, before taking the lead just over a furlong out and holding off the challenge of Aksil by a neck.

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