Tag Archive for: Mickael Barzalona

Sealiway shocks big guns in Champion Stakes

Sealiway sprang a 12-1 surprise in the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot as the big two, Adayar and Mishriff, finished out of the first three.

Fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 13 days earlier, Sealiway bettered the form he showed when runner-up to St Mark’s Basilica in the French Derby to lift the mile-and-a-quarter showpiece.

The three-year-old colt, trained by Cedric Rossi and ridden by Mickael Barzalona, was made to fight all the way by the William Haggas-trained Dubai Honour, who only went down by three-quarters of a length.

Mac Swiney ran a big race in third place, a length and a half away. Mishriff was a length back in fourth.

Addeybb, successful 12 months ago, disputed matters, although he was a spent force early in the straight after Derby hero Adayar set sail for home.

But as in the Arc, his bid fizzled out and Sealiway came through to lead. Mishriff tried to mount a challenge, but he had no more to give in the closing stages.

It was left to Dubai Honour to put it up to Sealiway – but the French raider was just too strong despite drifting in the closing stages.

Barzalona – who won the Derby in 2011 with Pour Moi – said: “It’s great to be back in the big time and be with this horse since the beginning. He deserved to prove his talent like he did today.

“I didn’t sit on him on Arc day but the team were very confident, they said he was in good form and that he had improved a lot since the Arc run so although it was a tough race they were pretty confident.

“I thought I was always going to hold Dubai Honour when he didn’t pass me straight away.”

Sealiway and Dubai Honour
Sealiway and Dubai Honour (Steven Paston/PA)

Rossi said through a translator: “He recovered really well from the Arc because that was a mid-seasonal reappearance and we came here with the thoughts of winning it.

“The Arc did him the world of good and he was ready for this race. All we needed to do was to keep him ticking over.

“Ascot is very beautiful. We are very proud. It’s a beautiful racecourse, it’s a beautiful day, beautiful racing, so very proud.”

Haggas said Dubai Honour, who had won the Prix Dollar on Arc weekend: “He was a little bit unfortunate because he’s a hold-up horse drawn in stall 10 and Adayar missed the break and just as James (Doyle) was trying to get him in, Adayar went hurtling past him and set him alight a bit.

“No excuse, we were quite far back but that’s the way he needs to be ridden. He came with what looked like a winning run, but the other horse outstayed him.

“He’s another that has made great progress. I was thinking that the Hong Kong Cup might suit him, he would enjoy that long straight and he seems to run well right-handed. I don’t know about Australia for him yet.”

Adayar was fifth, and trainer Charlie Appleby said: “William (Buick) said that he was always doing enough and although one back and one off the rail looked like he was in a nice position, Will just said that he was always doing too much and it paid up the straight. Those exertions paid towards the end.

“We made the decision to come here and maybe it was a tougher race than we thought in the Arc.

“We’ll put him away now and he’s still a nice horse for next year.”

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.