Jerome Reynier’s Skalleti will skip Deauville this weekend and head instead to the Prix Foy on his path to Ascot’s Qipco Champion Stakes.
The six-year-old has won all four starts this season, the two most recent successes coming in the Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp and the Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich – both of which are Group One events.
A tilt at the Grand Prix de Deauville on Sunday was under consideration, but the going is set to be too quick for Skalleti’s liking, and Reynier has therefore declined to declare him.
The Group Two Prix Foy is now on the agenda, run over a mile and a half at ParisLongchamp on September 12.
“He is very good – we’re very happy with him,” said Reynier.
“We’ve decided not to go to the Grand Prix de Deauville because the ground is too firm, and by the end of the meeting it could be very patchy and dangerous for the horse.
“He might go for the Prix Foy, the prep race for the Arc.”
Skalleti is likely to take up the latter option instead of defending his Prix Dollar title, having won that race in both 2019 and 2020.
Reynier considers the contest to be too close to the gelding’s ultimate seasonal target, the Champion Stakes on October 16.
The grey finished second in the Ascot showpiece last season, two and a quarter lengths behind William Haggas’ Addeybb on soft ground.
A bid to go one better has long been the aim, and Reynier said: “We think the Prix Dollar – two weeks prior to the Champion Stakes, which is his aim – would be too close.
“We think the Prix Foy would be a better prep race. It’s five weeks prior to the Champion Stakes – but I’m just thinking about all the factors.
“The ground is a big factor, because we’d like to run him on soft ground, so we will keep our options open as well.
“It’s (the Champion Stakes) definitely our aim – we are targeting this race and trying to win it.”
Reynier also outlined the next steps for Marianafoot, who shares an owner with Skalleti and has an even longer unbeaten run – stretching back eight races.
The Prix Maurice de Gheest was his latest victory, a race in which he defeated Ed Walker’s July Cup hero Starman and Wesley Ward’s Commonwealth Cup winner Campanelle.
The Prix de la Foret, held at ParisLongchamp on October 3, is where the six-year-old will head next as he tries to extend his remarkable winning streak.
The Group One is also set to be the final race of Marianafoot’s career.
“We’re aiming for the Prix de la Foret for the Arc weekend – that will be his final race probably,” said Reynier.
“We’re happy with him – he’s in good shape and he’s won two Group races in Longchamp.
“That will be his final race, so we’ll be trying to be competitive.”
Jean-Claude Seroul owns both horses.
Reynier said: “They’re (the owners) so happy with both of them – for six-year-olds to be so competitive and in such great form is amazing for the team.
“We’re doing well. We’ve won 13 or 14 good races this year, and that is amazing.”