Jean-Claude Rouget, who is still based in Pau, but who also has a satellite yard at Deauville, is currently heading the French trainers’ table following an early start of the new season at Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Even though 125 of his 200 horses are two-year-olds, since racing resumed in France on 11 May, he has been mainly concentrating on his classic generation, which seems to be dominated by fillies.
“Yes,” he laughs. “I seem to have a lot of fillies this year. And there are a few that are doing very nicely. You never know, if everything goes well, I could have more than one starter in the Prix de Diane.”
The classic season is approaching quickly now and on Monday 1st June, the same day that racing resumes behind closed doors in the UK, he will be saddling the second favourite for the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, the HH Aga Khan-owned Simeen.
Here, he kindly talks to Liz Price of attheraces.com about the three-year-olds that he expects to do well in the major racing events of the season and also gives us an update on last year’s Prix du Jockey Club winner Sottsass, who will next run in the Group 1 Prix Ganay.