Redemption Time for Intello in French Derby

Gerard and Alain Wertheimer's Intello bounced back from his unlucky third last out with an authoritative win in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby, Fr-I) June 2 at Chantilly.

The 15-8 favorite with Racing Post, the colt was always in contention from fourth early and secured a two-length victory 300 meters out when overtaking tiring leader Beyond Thankful. He quickened smartly under Olivier Peslier and comfortably held back runner-up Morandi, a French group I winner last season.

Godolphin's Sky Hunter, a stablemate of Intello making his stakes debut, finished a short neck behind Morandi in third in the 19-horse field. Sky Hunter suffered his first defeat in four career starts.

Intello was timed in 2:07.89 for 2,100 meters (about 1 5/16 miles) on turf rated as soft.

Trained by Andre Fabre, Intello became the second classic winner in two days and third this season for Coolmore's leading sire Galileo. Intello joined Ruler of The World, who captured the Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I) June 1, and Magician, who took the Tattersalls Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) in May.

Entering the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-I), or French Two Thousand Guineas May 12 at Longchamp, Intello was unbeaten in three career starts, including the listed Feilden Stakes in April at Newmarket. But a troubled trip saw him finish a close third in the one-mile classic, beaten a neck and a head by respective winner and runner-up Style Vendome and Dastarhon.

Style Vendome bypassed the French Derby as his connections deemed the distance would tax his stamina, but Dastarhon showed up and finished last of 19 runners.

Gerard Wertheimer told Racing Post that he was not really surprised by his homebred colt's French Derby win.

"He ran very well in the Poule d'Essai where he was a little unlucky," he said. "That's why we aimed here. As for the future, that's up to the trainer. Each to their own job."

Bred in Germany, Intello is one of two winners from as many starters out of French group II winner Impressionnante, who finished second in the 2006 Prix d'Essai des Pouliches (French One Thousand Guineas, Fr-I). By Danehill, Impressionnante is a half sister to multiple French group III winner Only Answer. Intello's second dam, Occupandiste, was a dual French group I winner.

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