Jerome Reynier has revenge on his mind for Skalleti as he pinpointed the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in October as the grey’s long-term target.
Skalleti was runner-up to Addeybb last autumn in what was the six-year-old’s first attempt at a Group One and the Kendargent gelding made it second time lucky with a last-gasp success in the Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
Skalleti brought heartache to the British-trained pair of Tilsit and My Oberon despite the distance of the race being inadequate, conditions unsuitable and the inconvenience of losing a racing plate during the race.
“We knew the trip was going to be a bit short and the ground a bit too firm for him,” said Reynier.
“He was the only horse who came from behind because most of the winners made all. He has done something special because he lost a shoe as well entering the final straight.
“He’s just a very genuine horse and a champion for us. He still remains unbeaten in Longchamp and remains unbeaten as a six-year-old this year, so it’s very exciting.
“We are going to give him a break now – he deserves it. Maybe we’ll be back in Deauville in August for the Prix Gontaut-Biron he won last year beating Sottsass, or maybe we’ll go another route. We will see how he comes back from this race. We will take it easy with him.”
As for Ascot’s Champion Stakes, Reynier said: “We would like to take our revenge that day.
“I’m not sure we will run him two weeks prior to that race in the Prix Dollar because two big races in two weeks is a lot. We will see how he is at that time.”
Reynier has Group One aspirations for Marianafoot after the six-year-old entire completed a five-timer in the Group Three Prix du Palais-Royal on the same card at ParisLongchamp.
“It’s unbelievable the way he has been racing this year. He’s getting better and better. We knew he was spot on and we are very happy with him,” said Marseille-based Reynier.
“He deserved to win a Group race and now we are going for a Group One in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in Deauville. That will he his target for this year.”