Les Beaufs Dominates in Prix Royal-Oak

Improving 3-year-old makes all the pace to win at Longchamp Oct. 28.

Les Beaufs controlled the pace and scored a 4 1/2-length win over Silver Valny in the Prix Royal-Oak (Fr-I), or French St. Leger, Oct. 28 at Longchamp.

Guided by trainer Valerie Seignoux’s son Julien Guillochon, lightly regarded Les Beaufs established a clear lead early and extended his advantage by several lengths on the backstretch. His eight rivals began closing in on the final turn but Guillochon allowed him to relax a bit in early stretch. As any would-be challengers became leg weary on the testing ground, he galloped on steadily to triumph at 13-to-2 odds.  

Les Beaufs, a 3-year-old Apsis gelding, covered about 1 15/16 miles (3,100 meters) in 3:36.22 on heavy turf for his first stakes triumph.

Silver Valny, also seeking a first stakes win, outfinished Prix de l’Arve winner Rollex Borget by 1 1/4 lengths for second. Dalkala, the 13-to-10 favorite off her win in the Qatar Prix de Royallieu (Fr-II) Oct. 6 at Longchamp, tracked from second early before fading to finish fifth.

Unraced as a 2-year-old, Les Beaufs broke his maiden in his seventh start in August at Deauville following a third-place finish in a listed stakes the previous month at Nantes. He showed promise with his second to Canticum in the Qatar Prix Chaudenay (Fr-II) Oct. 6 at the Parisian racecourse and more than capably handled his first start at the top level.

His breakthrough stakes win came in his 10th career start and improved his record to two victories, three seconds, and a third.

"That's him finished for this year, but he'll have a program built around all the good staying races next year,” Seignoux, who enjoyed her first group I win, told Racing Post.

"The ground doesn't matter to him. He's probably better on soft going but good ground wouldn't bother him. He (Guillochon) knows the horse by heart and he was very cool on him."

French-bred Les Beaufs is out of the stakes-placed Saumarez mare Yeomanry. He is from the second crop of Apsis, a multiple French group-winning miler for Juddmonte Farms who stands at Sophie Rousselle’s and Jean-Claude Werle’s Haras de la Barbottiere.