RACING: Revoque quashes French defence

COMMENTARY

France has been giving away juvenile Group races like suntans this season and the generosity continued at Longchamp yesterday when the Grand Criterium was surrendered to Peter Chapple-Hyam's Revoque.

Visitors from Britain have now threatened the entente cordiale by capturing every Group One or Group Two two-year-old contest this year, a sequence which has included Bahamian Bounty in the Prix Morny, Ryafan's Prix Marcel Boussac and Revoque himself, in the Prix de la Salamandre.

The colt's victory yesterday terminated another run, however, that of his trainer's despicable ill-fortune at Longchamp. Chappple-Hyam's record at the track has suggested that at some point, while on holiday in a French colony, he must have trodden on a witch doctor's stethoscope. Only last weekend, Monze was disqualified from the Prix de Conde and Polaris Flight fatally injured in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

For once, though, the gods relented as Revoque finished two lengths ahead of Criquette Head's Majorien, with King Sound, the representative of John Gosden, six lengths back in third. Chapple-Hyam said: "Surely Revoque must be the best two-year-old in Europe now. Once this horse gets into gear it's all over." John Reid, the winning jockey, reported: "I was always going easily."

This display was enough to pull the unbeaten colt into 7-1 second favouritism behind Bahhare for next year's 2,000 Guineas. King Sound's effort kept him at 25-1 with Hills for the Derby. Gosden was far from disconsolate.

The principal reason for France's lack of success with their youngsters has been the relatively barren campaign of their leading trainer, Andre Fabre. Bacteria came to visit the yard of the little general early in the season, and recuperation has been less than swift. Only one of Fabre's 100-plus battery of two-year-olds has been first past the post in a Group race.

While France is not apparently gifted with much two-year-old talent, it must be observed that the financial structure of the sport across the Channel does not place as much emphasis on a quick return for investment. "There are not so many good two-year-olds in France this year," Olivier Peslier, who was beaten on Olympic Majesty in the Grand Criterium, said. "But in France they are trained differently, too. The young horses in England are always stronger."

While there may be a disparity in the young bloodstock, Peslier sees no inferiority in his nation's young jockeys. He is 25 winners ahead of Thierry Jarnet in his quest for a first Cravache d'Or (the French jockeys' title) and the Peslier chest remains puffed up from last Sunday's extravagant Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe victory on Helissio. Despite the domestic consideration, Peslier will travel to ride in Britain on non-race days in France. He is also soon to get satellite racing coverage pumped into his French home, so he can study prospective mounts.

Peslier's arrival on these shores has hardly had our boys getting the bunting out (they get very protective over "their" rides, you know) and it must be said he has hardly been a deferential figure to the jockeys from Blighty.

The Frenchman does a savage pastiche of Pat Eddery's bobbing technique in a finish, and, after he had temporarily lowered Frankie Dettori's colours last Sunday, he made a movement with his forefinger that Sweeney Todd used to effect with a razor over the throats of his unfortunate clients.

"In England you have Frankie Dettori, in France you have me," he said, with the sort of confrontional message for which promoters would starve their children.

When discussing British racing in general, Peslier has an appraisal disturbingly close to what continentals say about our football. "It's harder here for the body," he says, "but there are not so many tactics."

If Peslier does ride more frequently on our courses, there may be an opportunity to review the garish celebrations from the saddle he conducted before the Arc was over. Some of our traditionalists thought this sort of pantomime was best left to the equestrian figures who usually wear glittering, tasselled bikinis. Peslier thought it was quite fun.

"I got a big surprise when I looked back 100 metres out and I knew it was impossible to lose," he said. "I can do this sort of thing because I know this horse, he is a horse I ride every day, and he is a three-year- old. He is not a jumping horse, a two-year-old or a horse like Moonax. I sit very tightly and do not think about moving on them."

1997 2,000 GUINEAS: Ladbrokes: 5-1 Bahhare, 8-1 Revoque, 10-1 Indiscreet, 14-1 Putra, 16-1 Entrepreneur, 20-1 Bahamian Bounty, Benny The Dip & Zamindar. William Hill: 5-1 Bahhare, 7-1 Revoque, 12-1 Indiscreet, 16-1 Putra & Zamindar.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world