FRANCE: Three Brits remain as 20 stand for Jockey Club

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By Scott Burton
Racing Post

Ektihaam

France: A maximum field of 20 looks on the cards for Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly after there were four withdrawals at Thursday’s pre-declaration stage.

Aidan O’Brien left Imperial Monarch as his sole representative in the race, having taken out Epsom-bound Astrology as well as Triumphant and Vault.

Ektihaam is one of three British-trained challengers left among the 20, alongside Gregorian and Most Improved.

Trainer Roger Varian put the finishing touches to the Invincible Spirit colt’s preparation on Thursday morning.

“He blew out beautifully this morning and we are very hopeful that he can run a good race,” said Varian of the Dante runner-up, who will be Paul Hanigan’s first Classic ride for Sheikh Hamdan since being signed as retained jockey.

“I have been very pleased with him since his good run in the Dante,” said Varian on his website. “He has taken his races extremely well and looks in very good condition.”

Alain’de Royer-Dupre has left the Aga Khan’s Lunayir in the race ahead of Friday’s final declaration stage.

However, the Prince’s main chance of landing a seventh Jockey Club will rest with Prix Greffulhe winner Kesampour.

Mikel Delzangles is looking forward to the race, with the son of King’s Best boasting an unbeaten record in four outings – all at left-handed Saint-Cloud.

“He won well enough last time and I think, on top of that, better ground will help on Sunday,” said Delzangles.

The final field will be announced on Friday morning around 9.30am BST, with the draw live on French Racing channel Equidia half an hour later.

View the original article at the Racing Post

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