Anodor aims to defend home turf in Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere

Oct 05, 2018 Kellie Reilly/

The next stop on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby lies in Paris, where Anodor must repel invaders from Britain and Ireland to stay undefeated in Sunday’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1). The only points race in France, the about one-mile affair is also a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), all part of a blockbuster Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Day card at ParisLongchamp.

Anodor, the early favorite, hails from the yard of famous jockey-turned-trainer Freddie Head. From the first crop of Anodin, the full brother to three-time Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) legend Goldikova (both trained by Head as well), Anodor has scored his two victories by daylight. The chestnut won a good newcomers’ race at Deauville, and in his stakes debut in the Prix des Chenes (G3) at this track and trip, he went wire to wire.

The third-placer in the Chenes, Shaman, has the scope to progress as a relative of multiple Grade 1 hero Mondialiste. The Wertheimer et Frere homebred, who was previously runner-up in the Prix Francois Boutin, had won first up at Chantilly for trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias.

British shipper Boitron brings a perfect three-for-three record into his first start in his native France. The Richard Hannon pupil recovered from a blown start to win his Newbury debut resoundingly, then toted the top weight of 134 pounds to victory at Doncaster. Boitron returned to Newbury for the Denford S. and again proved too strong for his competition. Although untested beyond seven furlongs, his pedigree and running style suggest he’ll handle the mile.

Aidan O’Brien, an eight-time Lagardere winner, has also won this fall’s first two scoring races on the European Road with Mohawk and Japan. Now he relies on Broome for the hat trick.

Like Anodor, Broome has a close tie to a great racemare of recent years. He is from the first crop sired by champion Australia, whose parents in turn are Galileo and Ouija Board, a two-time Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) queen. Broome moved forward from a debut fifth to break his maiden going about 1 1/16 miles at Galway. Shortening up to seven furlongs in the Acomb (G3) at York didn’t work, and he found himself outpaced in sixth. Back up to a mile for the September 15 KPMG Champions Juvenile (G2), itself a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Turf, Broome was a much better second to unbeaten Madhmoon.

Rounding out the six-horse field are Royal Marine and Dark Jedi. Godolphin’s blueblood Royal Marine comes off a front-running Doncaster maiden score for trainer Saeed bin Suroor, while the Charlie Hills-trained Dark Jedi has recently placed second at the Scottish track Ayr and in the Stonehenge S. at Salisbury.

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