As if it wasn’t bad enough that racing in France had to shut down for two months due to Covid 19, but Carlos Laffon-Parias had to endure another hardship when his horses started to run below par shortly after the resumption of racing on 11 May. Following a visit from the vet, it turned out that his horses had been affected by a fungus in the respiratory tract.
The finding was obviously upsetting, as he had to close the yard for nearly four weeks before sending out another runner, but it did explain the lacklustre performance of the highly-regarded Ecrivain, a son of Lope de Vega, who after finishing in front of Victor Ludorum in his prep race, tailed in last in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
“I think you’ll agree, my year is going to be difficult,” said Carlos Laffon-Parias with a smirk, but also with acceptance and renewed optimism after his horses are now showing signs of being back in form, including Ecrivain who is lining up in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club on Sunday - live on Sky Sports Racing.
Here, the Spanish-born trainer who is based in Chantilly, kindly talks to Liz Price of attheraces.com about his French Derby hopeful and some of the other horses that should get the yard back on track in no time.