Skalleti eases to Prix d'Harcourt success as Jerome Reynier considers Ganay bid

The Prix d'Harcourt holds the twin distinction of being the traditional feature on Longchamp's opening day on Sunday and the main trial for the Prix Ganay back here on May 2.

Skalleti won in the style many will have expected, holding Mare Australis at bay under a near motionless Gerald Mosse.

But trainer Jerome Reynier will not rush a decision on where last season's Champion Stakes runner-up will reappear, after taking in this unscheduled stop after Skalleti's comeback success in the Prix Exbury last month.

"Everyone makes a big drama out of the fact he hasn't won a Group 1 but if he carries on picking up performances like his one, that'll suit me fine," said Reynier. "As his owner Jean-Claude Seroul has said, all options are on the table, and we know he travels well.

"Initially we weren't going to run in the Harcourt but the horse was well. As for the Ganay, we'll see. If he remains in good form, we'll give it a try."

Classic clues

The horse that perhaps advanced his case for major honours most clearly passed the post second, though Cheshire Academy was granted the Prix Noailles by the Longchamp stewards. They deemed he had been hampered by Pretty Tiger before going down by a nose. 

Representing the Arc-winning combination of Peter Brant, Jean-Claude Rouget and Cristian Demuro, Cheshire Academy was graduating from the Pau all-weather and is a first Group or Graded winner as a stallion for dual Arc runner-up Flintshire.

"He is a backward horse and he'll improve from race to race," said Rouget. "I don't think he'll run again before the [Prix du] Jockey Club and if he can finish in the first three there, that'd set him up for the Grand Prix de Paris.

"He has a lot of his sire about him and I'm very happy because he was very weak early on and I think he has a lot of scope to improve. I think he'll be a real mile-and-a-half horse."

Two more candidates emerged for the Chantilly Classics earlier on the card, with Adhamo taking the colts' trial over 1m1f, the Prix La Force, for Freddy Head.

"I loved the way he finished his race off, he really stretched out and covered the ground," said Head. "I think I'd prefer to step him up in trip and the Poule d'Essai would be a bit short for him."

Among the fillies, Rumi repelled the challenge of Petricor – France's only entry in the Oaks – to land the Prix Vanteaux for Carlos Laffon-Parias.

A €700,000 yearling at Arqana, the daughter of Frankel was bouncing back to form after only managing a fourth-place finish on her seasonal reappearance at Saint-Cloud last Saturday.

Laffon-Parias said: "She really needed it [her first run] and blew a lot after her race so I considered it more of a morning piece of work. I think she'll be better over 2,000 metres [1m2f] and she's run twice in eight days so she'll run in the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix de Diane."