The Revenant steps up for Prix d’Ispahan test at ParisLongchamp

The Revenant warms up for a potential trip to Royal Ascot next month in the Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Francis-Henri Graffard’s stable star has made two previous appearances at Ascot – finishing second in the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes before returning to the Berkshire circuit to go one better on Champions Day in October.

The six-year-old has been beaten in his first two starts of this season, but Graffard is hoping for an improved performance on his return to Group One level this weekend ahead of a possible tilt at the Queen Anne Stakes on June 15.

He said: “He’s in good shape. Nine furlongs is a step up in trip for him.

“The ground the other evening was very sticky. Hopefully it does not dry too much – I hope the ground will not be too firm for him.

“The softer the better for him, so we’ll see.

“He’s in very good form and very happy. That (Queen Anne) is an option if the ground is suitable.”

Just over half an hour after The Revenant landed the QEII, Skalleti finished second for France in the Qipco Champion Stakes – finding only the William Haggas-trained Addeybb too strong.

Skalleti (grey) ran a fine race in defeat at Ascot last year
Skalleti (grey) ran a fine race in defeat at Ascot last year (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Skalleti has returned with back-to-back victories this spring and trainer Jerome Reynier is hoping he can complete his hat-trick.

“We’re pretty happy with him. He won the Prix Exbury very well and was back in Paris to win the Prix d’Harcourt,” he said.

“We felt running him in the Ganay a few weeks later was probably too much, so we’ve been kind on him and decided we’d go straight to the d’Ispahan with a bit of freshness.

“The distance is on the short side and the ground will be on the firm side for him, but we can’t really expect much softer ground at this time of the year.

“The race that would have been best for him is the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, but logistically it was impossible to travel the horse to Ireland with the staff and everything, so we decided we’d stay at home and we’re hoping for the best on Sunday.”

Reynier is already looking forward to a return to Ascot in October, adding: “If we can win one Group One this year, it would be the Champion Stakes back in Ascot at the end of the year on soft ground.

“We’re not sure if we’ll go for the Prix Dollar this year. It’s only two weeks before Ascot, so it’s a tough prep for the horse.

“His target for 2021 is definitely the Champion Stakes – we’ll try to get our revenge on Addeybb.”

Andre Fabre saddles dual Group One winner Victor Ludorum, while British hopes are carried by the Charlie Hills-trained Tilsit and William Haggas’ My Oberon.

Wally (Jean-Claude Rouget) and Ecrivain (Carlos Laffon-Parias) complete the field.

Other Recent Posts by This Author:

Your first 30 days for just £1