Tag Archive for: Francois Rohaut

Suesa all set for Abbaye showdown

Francois Rohaut considers Suesa to be the chief French challenger in the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

The three-year-old was unbeaten on French turf until May, taking four races including the Prix Sigy and the Prix Texanita – both Group Three events.

Her unbeaten run was ended at Royal Ascot in June when she was eighth in the Commonwealth Cup, but she bounced back to take the Group Two King George Stakes at Goodwood in late July.

A run in the Nunthorpe Stakes then produced a fourth-placed finish as the filly was drawn wide and eventually came home two and a half lengths behind Winter Power.

“She looks great, she’s very happy and quiet and everything’s perfect,” Rohaut told Sky Sports Racing.

“She came out (of York) well, we’ll just forget that race as she had a bad draw.

“We’ll just forget it, she is as well as she was before Goodwood.

“I am very happy with her – she looks much better and much stronger, she is improving I think.

“She’s probably the best French contender, I don’t really focus on who is going to run and who will like the ground, she will run her best.”

The going at Longchamp is currently described as a mixture of good and good to soft and more rain is due to fall, but Rohaut is not concerned about conditions as his runner is a proven performer on heavier ground.

“She won three times on very soft going, so I’m not worried about the ground, if the rain does come it could be even better for her,” he said.

Suesa and jockey William Buick
Suesa and jockey William Buick (John Walton/PA)

Though this weekend’s race will be Suesa’s last of the season, Rohaut is already looking forward to beginning her next campaign at Royal Ascot in June.

“I think we’ll keep her next season and in that case her first target is probably the King’s Stand,” he said.

“She’s as good over both (five and six furlongs), she won’t stay six furlongs at Ascot because they’re going uphill, but on a flat track she can stay six furlongs.”

Suesa is one of 17 still in contention for the Abbaye, with British hopes including Sprint Cup winner Emaraaty Ana and Glass Slippers from Kevin Ryan’s yard, Tim Easterby’s Nunthorpe victor Winter Power, Karl Burke’s pair of Dandalla and Lady In France, plus the Adrian Nicholls-trained Mo Celita.

Adrian Nicholls' Prix de l'Abbaye hope Mo Celita
Adrian Nicholls’ Prix de l’Abbaye hope Mo Celita (Tim Goode/PA)

Andre Fabre’s Raclette – a filly he rates as one of the best he has trained – is among 10 contenders for the Prix Marcel Boussac.

Aidan O’Brien will be without a runner in the race after his entrant, Galileo filly History, was found to be lame and is therefore due to be withdrawn.

“The plan was that she would run, but she didn’t pull out 100 per cent sound so she won’t run,” the trainer said.

“I shouldn’t think we’ll have another runner in the race.”

Oscula, who finished third in last week’s Rockfel Stakes, has been left in both the Boussac and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere by trainer George Boughey.

She is one of three fillies in that seven-furlong heat which is headlined by Phoenix Stakes winner Ebro River for Hugo Palmer.

A total of 15 fillies and mares are in the mix for the Prix de l’Opera, including last year’s third Audarya for James Fanshawe and O’Brien’s French Oaks winner Joan Of Arc.

Space Blues is a short-priced favourite for the Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs with other familiar names including Kinross, Thunder Moon and Pearls Galore.

Suesa and Golden Pal heading for Nunthorpe showdown

French filly Suesa and American speedball Golden Pal are set for a mouthwatering clash in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday week.

Francois Rohaut’s Suesa looked every inch a top-class sprinter in the making after landing successive Group Three prize at Chantilly in the spring, but disappointed when favourite for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

However, she put that effort behind her with a thoroughly impressive display in the King George Stakes at Goodwood last month – a performance which delighted her trainer.

Rohaut said: “It was fantastic. We didn’t expect such a nice win.

“She showed that day that she’s a top-class filly. The going was perfect for her – and the strong pace.”

Suesa is currently completing her preparations for the £400,000 Nunthorpe in Deauville before crossing the Channel.

“The filly is OK, so the plan is to come (to York). It’s very exciting and we are very happy to be in this race,” Rohaut added.

Suesa returns to the Goodwood winner's enclosure under William Buick
Suesa returns to the Goodwood winner’s enclosure under William Buick (John Walton/PA)

“She had a good canter on Tuesday in Deauville where she’s staying. Everything is OK. I am very happy with her.

“I walked her (on Wednesday afternoon) and she was jumping everywhere and was very fresh and happy to be in Deauville.

“I hope she’ll be happy to go and to be in York.”

Suesa disputes favouritism with Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal, who made a successful start to his campaign in a Grade Three at Saratoga in July.

The three-year-old is due to arrive in York on Friday, and Ward hopes he can provide him with a first Nunthorpe success, having previously saddled both Acapulco and Lady Aurelia to finish second in the prestigious contest.

Of Golden Pal, Ward – who plans to fly in for the race – said: “He’s bigger, stronger, faster. I think we’re in good shape.

“He breezed on the grass at Keeneland (on Wednesday) – a really nice workout, a final piece of fast work.

“We’re ready to go. Everything’s going to plan.

“This time we’re hoping to get lucky!”