Straight track an unknown for Victor Ludorum in French 2000 Guineas

Sun 31st May 2020, 16:22

Victor Ludorum
© Photo Healy Racing

Connections of Victor Ludorum hope the colt will feel the benefit of his prep run when he lines up in Monday's Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Deauville.

The Shamardal colt, who is owned by Godolphin and trained by Andre Fabre, was unbeaten in three juvenile starts, culminating in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.

He suffered a surprise defeat on his seasonal return at ParisLongchamp, finishing only third behind the reopposing The Summit and Ecrivain, although Godolphin's French representative Lisa-Jane Graffard expects him to progress for that outing.

However, Graffard is not so sure a straight mile at Deauville will suit Victor Ludorum, with the French 2000 Guineas transferred from ParisLongchamp this year due to coronavirus restrictions.

She said: "Andre Fabre is very happy with the colt as he is in top form. Having a runner in one of the Classics is always a huge moment.

"He was too fresh in the Prix de Fontainebleau and needed the race. It has done him good.

"We are in a year with exceptional circumstances, and everyone must adapt, people and horses. The only question mark we have is over the straight track, as he has never run on a straight before."

Carlos Laffon-Parias, trainer of Ecrivain, has no reservations about the straight track for his charge, but would be worried if the ground was fast.

He said: "Ecrivain ran very well in the Prix de Fontainebleau. That was simply a prep race, and the objective has always been the Poule d'Essai. It was an ideal comeback race.

"The straight track doesn't worry me, although I hope that we will have good ground that isn't too quick, as that could damage the horses."

Kenway was just a short head behind Victor Ludorum in the Fontainebleau and while his trainer Frederic Rossi admits he is an outsider, he feels the Deauville course will be in his runner's favour.

He said: "Kenway gave me confidence in the Prix de Fontainebleau. A lot of things did not go his way in the race, and he ran very well.

"He comes into the Poule d'Essai as an outsider, but he is capable of running well.

"Personally, the announcement that the race was switching to Deauville was good news, he is better on a straight track and the increased pace will help him."

Celestin was beaten on his prep in a conditions event and his handler Fabrice Chappet would like some ease in the ground.

He said: "Celestin ran a perfectly correct race on his return to competition. He is, without doubt, better on softer ground but he deserves to line up in the race. He is in great form."

THE IRISH TIMES