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Atomic Force to continue career in Hong Kong

Exciting juvenile Atomic Force has left Kevin Ryan’s yard to continue his career in Hong Kong.

Runner-up on his racecourse debut at Musselburgh in the spring, the son of Cotai Glory is unbeaten in three starts since – adding to a maiden success at Hamilton with victories in the Group Three Prix du Bois and the Group Two Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly.

He was sold to Hong Kong-based owner Siu Pak Kwan prior to his latest triumph – and with opportunities in Europe limited due to Atomic Force being a gelding, the decision has been made to send him to the Far East immediately.

Bloodstock agent Alastair Donald, who brokered the deal for Atomic Force when he was bought from Hambleton Racing, said: “The fact that he’s a gelding rather limited the Group One options for him over here.

“The owners were keen to get him to Hong Kong. We were keen to run him again, but there was a lack of options.

“He is not eligible for the Prix Morny and it would have been a case of waiting for something like the Prix de l’Abbaye, which is a long way away.

“The owners took the view of giving him a rest. He’s quite a big horse, so he’s got a good future ahead of him in Hong Kong.”

Atomic Force impresses with front-running Chantilly strike

Atomic Force put up another scintillating performance for an all-the-way win in the Group Two Darley Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly.

Kevin Ryan’s hugely-talented juvenile was never headed as he added this prize to last month’s equally impressive course-and-distance victory in the Prix du Bois on his previous trip to France.

Stephane Pasquier again had the son of Cotai Glory out in front from the outset after breaking very well – and although the field briefly closed up mid-race, Atomic Force quickened again to win emphatically by two and a half lengths from outsider Baghed.

A second British challenger, Hellomydarlin, was third for George Boughey.

The winner has changed hands since his first Chantilly victory – from Hambleton Racing to Siu Pak Kwan.

But he remains in Ryan’s North Yorkshire yard, and he said: “He’s a very straightforward horse, has a huge amount of ability, a great temperament, a great mind.

“He has a high cruising speed and he quickens off it. He’s a wonderful horse to deal with.

“He cruises through a race, and he has that good turn of foot, and he’s done it very stylishly again today.”

As a gelding, several high-profile targets cannot be considered – but Atomic Force does hold an entry in next month’s valuable Ballyhane Stakes at Naas.

Ryan is in no rush to make definite plans, however.

“He’s a fantastic horse,” he said.

“From day one, he’s been a lovely horse to deal with, and has identified his ability very early and then just kept improving with it.

“I’m delighted for the (new) connections as well.

“He’s limited as to what he can go for. We’ll let him get home, and I’ll discuss that with his connections at the end of week.

“We won’t make any decisions (just yet), and we’ll do what’s right by the horse.”

Earlier on the card, Victor Ludorum returned to winning form for the first time in six starts, since his success in last year’s French 2000 Guineas at Deauville, easily collaring front-running Brentford Hope in the Group Three Prix Messidor.

Mickael Barzalona tracked Richard Hughes’ British contender on Andre Fabre’s charge, before leading two furlongs out and taking the measure of the runner-up – who stayed on well to keep the remainder at bay but was beaten three lengths.

Barzalona told Sky Sports Racing: “That was great. He was a little bit disappointing in his last run (fifth in the Group One Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp).

“He’d come back very well from his first run of the season.

“(But) today it was a nice, regular pace – and I was pretty happy.”

A return to the top level, and a clash with John and Thady Gosden’s top miler Palace Pier, may beckon for Victor Ludorum in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville next month.

“That might be part of the normal programme for him,” said Barzalona.

“It’s going to be a top race, against Palace Pier, but he deserves to be in it.”

Barzalona and Fabre completed a big-race double when Noticeable Grace took the Group Three Prix Chloe.

Barzalona again hauled back a long-time leader but only just in time on this occasion, as Noticeable Grace pounced deep in the final furlong to pass Charlie Appleby’s Creative Flair to win by a head.

In a busy finish, Rougir also eventually got the better of Creative Flair to bag second spot by a nose.

Atomic Force overpowers Chantilly rivals

Atomic Force made every yard of the running to claim an impressive success in the Prix du Bois Longines at Chantilly.

Trained by Kevin Ryan for Hambleton Racing, the Cotai Glory gelding had finished second on his debut at Musselburgh in April before following up with victory at Hamilton last month.

Upped to Group Three company in France, Atomic Force was partnered by Stephane Pasquier – who had the British raider smartly away in the six-furlong heat.

Wesley Ward’s runner Napa Spirit sat on his heels, but Atomic Force was soon bowling along in front and he had his nine rivals in trouble from some way out, with Pasquier only having to keep him up to his work to prevail by five lengths.

Black Lives Matter finished best of the rest, with Best Sixteen a further length back in third.

“We were very hopeful, but we probably didn’t expect him to win quite as impressively,” said Simon Turner, Hambleton’s racing director.

“He looks a very good horse.

“He enjoys a little bit of ease underfoot, and we thought there was every chance he’d get it there (Chantilly) – it just looked a nice stepping stone.

“He’s progressing quickly and looks a quality two-year-old.

“The (Prix Robert) Papin could be an option for him. We’ll consider all the good Group sprint races that he’s eligible for, see how he comes out of it and be guided by Kevin really.”

Erasmo had earlier struck gold for Andre Fabre and Mickael Barzalona in the Prix Paul de Moussac.

The Oasis Dream colt had won twice as juvenile but could finish only second on his return in the Prix La Force, prompting Fabre to drop back to Listed company for his last two starts.

After winning at ParisLongchamp in May, he was switched back up to Group Three level for this mile heat – and while Erasmo had to work hard for the win, he kept on well in the final furlong to see off Best Lightning by a short neck.

Godolphin’s Lisa-Jane Graffard told www.godolphin.com: “Erasmo is a very brave horse, who never runs a bad race, and this is a fantastic result for him.

“We will see how he comes out of the race, but he has been kept busy so far this season. We may give him a break before bringing him back for the autumn, possibly looking at one of the races on Arc weekend.”

Maxime Guyon took the other two Group races on the card, landing the Prix Bertrand du Breuil Longines with Ecrivain and the Prix du Lys Longines with Northern Ruler.