Pascal Bary, who learnt the ropes at the famous yard of François Boutin, is no stranger to Classic success, not just in his native France where he has won the Prix du Jockey Club an impressive five times, but also in the UK, where he lifted the 1,000 Guineas with Natagora in 2008, and in Ireland, where he landed the Irish Derby with Dream Well in 1998.
The 2018 season is looking very exciting for the Chantilly-based trainer who has long enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Niarchos family, as well as with Prince Khalid Abdullah for whom he hopes to lift the Ascot Gold Cup with Ice Breeze, one of the few older horses that he has at his yard.
“Most of my horses are either two or three-year-olds,” says Pascal Bary, who was the first French trainer to get his name onto the board of the Dubai World Cup when Brazilian import Gloria de Campeao won the race in 2010.
“I think of the 65 horses I have currently in my yard, only three are older than four. It’s great though, I love working with youngsters. It’s very exciting, but it will be interesting to see how this year goes, as we had a lot of wet weather in the beginning of the year. But mainly, my horses have already done well.”
Here, he tells Liz Price of attheraces.com what races they will be targeting this season.
4-y-o b h Nayef – Winter Silence
The Khalid Abdullah-owned Ice Breeze never ran as a two-year-old but proved a consistent performer throughout the entire 2017 season. After winning a conditions race on his second start, he was quickly stepped up to Group 3 company and in June won the Group 2 Prix Hocquart over a mile and a half. He then ran fourth to Shakeel, whom he had beaten in the Prix Hocquart, in the Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris and then really came into his own when he was allowed to run over the longer distances at the end of the season. A winner of the Group 2 Prix Chaudenay over 1m 7f, he then beat France’s best stayer Vazirabad in the Group 1 Prix Royal Oak over 1m 7 ½ f at Saint-Cloud at the end of October. This year, his main target is the Ascot Gold Cup.
“The Ascot Gold Cup is what we are aiming for. He has won twice over 1m7f and I’m sure he will stay further. He will run on the 29th of April in the Prix Barbeville and then we hope to prepare him for the Gold Cup. He has won in good ground and in soft, so I am not worried about ground with him. The only time he ran badly was at Chantilly where the ground was very heavy, but where he wasn’t ready for the race. He has a very good temperament, he can really quicken and has a nice stride. He is a proper racehorse. He loves fighting, he always gives everything.”
5-y-o ch g Dream Ahead – Whisper Dance
Lightly-raced and a true sprinter, Gold Vibe worked his way up to listed and Group company towards the end of his four-year-old season. Never out of the first two, he ended the year as the runner-up to Group 1 winner The Right Man in the Group 3 Prix de Seine-Et-Oise, which is run over six furlongs.
“He is always first or second. He is a good sprinter who has really improved a lot. I’m going to run him in the Listed Prix Servanne at Maisons-Laffitte on the 25th of April. He is really good over five furlongs but can run over six furlongs. He could go to Royal Ascot; his owner likes to run there. He is really consistent, but he likes a little bit of cut in the ground.”
STUDY OF MAN
3-y-o b c Deep Impact – Second Happiness
Study of Man won on his debut in September 2017 and then made an early reappearance in the Group 3 Prix la Force during the first official ParisLongchamp meeting on 8th April. Ridden by Stéphane Pasquier, the Deep Impact son finished second to the Martyn Meade-trained British raider Chilean in very heavy ground and will now run in the Prix de Guiche. He holds entries in the Derby, the Prix du Jockey Club and the Grand Prix de Paris.
“He ran very well on his first start of the season. This was only his second start of his career and when he ran, he wasn’t even three years old yet. He was beaten by a horse who is much tougher than him, who has run more often than him. I think he will be much better with more experience and in better ground. It was very heavy at ParisLongchamp for the Prix la Force. But I needed to run him. The classic races are coming quick, so he needed to run. Now he will run the Prix de Guiche at Chantilly and then if everything goes well, he will target the Prix du Jockey Club. He is still entered in the Derby, but I think according to his pedigree, he will be better suited by the mile and a quarter. Let’s not forget, his grand dam is Miesque. So for the time being it’s the Jockey Club.”
3-y-o b c Camelot – Just Little
Following a rather unassuming start at Deauville last year, he ran one more time in a maiden at Saint-Cloud, where he was beaten a short head. This season, he made an early reappearance in a 1 ¼ m maiden at Chantilly, which he won by six lengths. It was an impressive performance and the Jean-Louis Bouchard owned colt holds entries in the Prix du Jockey Club and the Grand Prix de Paris.
“He is going to run again on the 29th of April in the listed Prix de Suresnes at ParisLongchamp. My horses have to run if they want to compete in the Classics. They are coming quickly. Naturally High ran very badly on his first start, but then he ran well the second time round. And the other day he won very easily. He is a very big horse with lots of stamina. So, depending on his performance on the 29th of April, he could go for the Prix du Lys and then the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris. He could also run in the Prix du Jockey Club, but as I said, I think he has lots of stamina and the Grand Prix de Paris might be the better option for him. I like him. He won in very heavy ground, but I think he can go in any ground.”
3-y-o b g Lawman – Alnamara
Unraced as a two-year-old, he won the mile Prix Sica Boy, a race for unraced three-year-old colts and geldings at Saint-Cloud at the beginning of April.
“Hourtin is not a Cassic prospect, as he is a gelding, but he is a very good horse. I think he will be a very good horse over the mile. He will run on the 29th of April at ParisLongchamp in the listed Prix du Pont-Neuf. We had to geld him last year already. I couldn’t do anything with him, but once we gelded him it changed him completely. He won’t be running over anything further than a mile and he prefers soft ground. As I said, he is not a Classic horse, but a he has the potential of being a good racehorse. He has a good turn of foot, which he showed the other day when he won quite easily.”
3-y-o gr c Mizzen Mast – Conference Call
“He will have his first start in the Prix Juigne on the 24th of April at ParisLongchamp. It is a race for unraced horses over the same distance as the Prix du Jockey Club. I didn’t run him at two for no particular reason, I just wanted to give him some time. He is the brother of Teletext who was third in the Grand Prix de Paris. I also trained his dam Conference Call, who came second in the Prix Marcel Boussac. I like him. He is a mile and a quarter horse and there is no doubt that he will need good ground.”
3-y-o b f Medaglia d’Oro – Divine Presence
Ran once as a two-year-old in a race for unraced fillies where she finished fifth behind the Freddy Head trained With You, who went on to win the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs. She holds entries in the Prix de Diane and the Prix Saint-Alary.
“She didn’t run well on her first start, but I can’t wait to see her again. She is good. I like everything about her. Her pedigree, her confirmation and her stride. We are not there yet with her, but she is exciting. She will want good ground.”
3-y-o ch f Dream Ahead – Excellent Girl
She had three starts in rapid succession at the end of her two-year-old season. A winner on her first start in Chantilly over the mile, where she made all and won going away, she then was the hot favourite in the Criterium de la Vente d’Octobre at Chantilly. Once more she tried to make all but this time she faded rapidly in the final furlong to finish down the field. However, different tactics and a shorter trip in the Group 3 Prix Miesque produced another stunning performance. Ridden in mid division she didn’t have a clear passage in the final furlong, but as soon as she saw daylight, she produced a great turn of foot to win the race by a short head. However, on her seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, she was only a shadow of her former self and only beat one home. She has entries in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix de Diane.
“Unfortunately, I have no idea what happened on her first run this year. She didn’t have a great start, she was just very flat. I would love to say that it was the heavy ground, but I’m not sure. She definitely is better than that. As a two-year-old she ran three times, but she actually went to the races four times. The first time she ran, or was supposed to run, she turned over in the stalls. So she was a non-runner in Deauville. She then won very easily before putting in a really bad performance on her second start before winning the Prix Miesque. Since then, she has had a very good winter and has come on a lot. So I don’t know why she didn’t perform the other day. She is very complicated, but she usually has a very good turn of foot. There is not much time now until the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, but it’s either that or nothing.”
3-y-o black f Manduro – Brailovskaya
Disappointing on her first start in October, she produced a much more mature performance on her second start in a mile Maiden in the Prix Ortie Blanche at Saint-Cloud. That day the ground was very soft and after travelling in mid division, she got a nice run up the rail to win this race convincingly. A stunning looking black filly, she is entered in the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix de Diane.
“She didn’t do well on her first start. In fact, it was a horrible performance. However, she then won at Saint-Cloud. She is very good looking and she will stay. She can be a little hot, but when you see her, you will be impressed. She has wintered well, in fact she always had a nice coat, which is a good sign. She has won in heavy ground, but I don’t think she needs it.”