In the colours of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, MILLAU (FR)(Wotton Bassett x Sage Melody) held on strongly to win the Prix De Magdeleine at Chantilly racecourse on Friday 25 June.
Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard, the three-year-old gelding was quickly into stride from stall three and was placed amongst the leaders in the early stages by jockey Oliver Peslier. Travelling strongly on the outside of the field 400m out, MILLAU was asked to extend by his rider and pulled almost a length clear of his rivals before holding off a strong challenge from the R. Le Dren Doleuze-trained and Quentin Perrette-ridden LIGHT WAKEUP (FR) (Twilight Son x Little Suzy) to win by a short head at the line with the fast finishing BAVARIA EXPRESS (FR) (Dabarism x Baiadera) a further short head back in third, who is trained by F. Chappet and was ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
“I think he could even run over shorter than 1,200m”, said the winning trainer Francis Henri Graffard after the race, “He has a lot of speed at the start and is able to hold his position well. He could run over 1,000m but I haven’t looked at the programme just yet. He should learn to become a true sprinter, to race over the straight course and to breathe. Today was a test and he has passed it. His second race was over 1,600m and that was my mistake. To have a good sprinter in the yard is always good fun. They are the types of horse who get better with age.”
MILLAU was bred by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani’s Al Shahania Stud and is by Coolmore stallion WOOTTON BASSETT (Iffraaj), who is the sire of Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye winner Wooded, also trained by Francis Henri Graffard. MILLAU’s dam SAGE MELODY (Sageburg) was placed third in a Group 3 over 1,000m.
Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club