Sunday, March 12, 2017, Hippodrome d'Auteuil (Paris). - Out since September 2015, when pulled up lame early in a much awaited duel in the Prix de Maisons-Laffitte Hurdle (Gr3) with his greatest rival Blue Dragon (Califet), the 6-year-old AQPS Bon Augure (My Risk) made a winning comeback in the Prix Jean-Claude Evain Chase. Trained by Adrien Lacombe for Scottish owners Lynne and Angus Maclennan, Bon Augure beat Mat Maker (Policy Maker) by two lengths. Favorite Polygona (Poliglote), another first class prospect, held on in third place.
Bred in Allier by Joël Denis, Bon Augure had been spotted by trainer Adrien Lacombe in a AQPS confromation show at Decize in Nièvre, when he finished second of his 2yo section, and bloodstock agent Richard Hobson bought him then for the Maclennans, who had made the trip to Auteuil on Sunday among over 5,000 racegoers on a beautiful spring day.
The injury of Bon Augure was career-threatening but Adrien Lacombe said the horse had been reassuring al the way up until his return on the gallops at Senonnes, in the West of France: "I didn't really know how he would handle the race because since his injury, he became very quiet, laid back even. I had to push him a bit to get himgoing when riding him on the gallops! Before that, he was completely the opposite, a keen horse we had trouble keeping in line.. This race has completely reassured us and he beat real good horses there."
Favorite in the Prix Duc d'Anjou 4yo CHase (Gr3), Edward d'Argent (Martaline) easily took over the race's pacesetter Dalko Morivière (Balko) in the run-in. Winner of the Prix Congress Chase (Gr2) last year, that Guillaume Macaire-trained, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-woned grey is definitely the best chaser we've seen in that generation.
Storm of Saintly (Saint des Saints) was declared a non-runner in the Prix Hubert d'Aillières Hurdle (L). Cobra de Larre (Discover d'Auteuil) took over front-running Brut Imperial (Le Fou) 2 out and won with a length and a half to spare on a fast closing Plumeur (Great Pretender). Brut Imperial hekd on in third despite Mocalato Has (Poliglote)'s nice turn of foot.
Ridden by Erwan Chazelle, Cobra de Larre is trained by trotting rising star Louis Baudron for another famed trotting horseman, breeder-owner Sylvain Roger. One of the best trotting trainers in the country, Roger first passed the 100-wins bar as a trotting trainer last year and boasts 11 winners in the last winter meeting at Vincennes racetrack. Louis Baudron also trains the brother of Cobra de Larre, 4yo Delta de Larre (Sleeping Car). Camivilla (Villez), the dam of both horses, won for her debut in a claiming hurdle race for trainer Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé before joining Sylvain Roger.
Forest Forest (Forestier) won pretty cosily for his chasing debut in the Prix Cousin Pons. He is trained by Robert Collet for Ballantines Racing. 2016 Prix Renaud du Vivier 4yo Hurdle (Gr1) winner Capivari (Yeats) also discovered the fences in the race but he struggled early on and had to settle for sixth place.