Premier French Race for Two-year-olds – G1 Critérium de Saint-Cloud

Critérium de Saint-Cloud

The Critérium de Saint-Cloud is a Group One thoroughbred race for two-year-olds, staged at Saint-Cloud over 2000m. The race is the only Group One event at this distance for juveniles in Europe.

Established in 1901, the event was originally run in September over 1400m, before switching to the current journey five seasons later. The race was given Group Two status in 1971 before being promoted to the top tier in 1987. In recent years the most successful winner of the race is Waldgeist (Galileo) – winning by one length in 2016 – a first of four Group One victories. Subsequently he won the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) defeating Enable (Nathaniel) in 2019. Today, he stands at Ballylinch Stud in Ireland for a fee of €17,500.

Horse by Horse Analysis

Unconquerable
Unconquerable has plenty of experience and seemed to enjoy the step up in trip to 2000m when second in the G3 Zetland Stakes at Newmarket (UK). He is yet to win at Group level but the Irish-trained colt is capable of featuring in the closing stages.

Dreamflight
The well-bred Frankel colt out of a Dansili mare was off the mark on his third outing in the G3 Prix Thomas Byron Jockey Club de Turquie (1600m). He made all the running in gutsy style, fending off a couple of well-touted rivals by a short neck. André Fabre raises him in class and distance and is the pick of the home team against multiple overseas challengers.

Stone Age
Yet to win in four starts but proving progressive is Stone Age who ran sixth in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (1400m) on Arc weekend at Longchamp earlier this month. Aidan O’ Brien has plenty of runners, with this Galileo colt an imposing type who may appreciate this extra journey as his dam was a half-sister to G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) winner Bright Sky. He deserves respect.

Garachico
The Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained youngster ran out a comfortable maiden winner at Evreux prior to a fair fourth in a Chantilly Group Three over 1800m. He needs to take a step forward with two-and-a-quarter lengths to find over the winner that day, El Bodegon.

Goldspur
The Godolphin-owned Goldspur is unbeaten in both starts including a determined display to put his head in front on the line at Group Three level over this distance at Newmarket. His dam was a Group Two winner who reached the frame in the G1 Prix Vermeille (2400m). This unexposed contender could easily make the jump to this level for his top trainer and rates the one to beat.

Dillian
Michael Bell’s Camelot colt was off the mark in decisive fashion at Pontefract (UK) over this distance on soft ground after a promising debut at Newmarket. He finished behind a subsequent Group Three winner, with the form working out exceptionally well. The youngster will have no trouble if conditions deteriorate and is a fascinating contender.

El Bodegon
The James Ferguson-trained El Bodegon has made an impressive start to his career with two successes, notably when scoring by one-and-a-quarter lengths in the G3 Prix de Conde (1800m) at Chantilly last month. He appreciated the extra distance and soft ground on that occasion. El Bodegan is a brother to Best Solution (Kodiac), who finished runner-up to Waldgeist attempting this contest in 2016 and aims to go one better.

Buckaroo
The thrice-raced Joseph O’Brien contender was a luckless sixth in the G2 Champion Juvenile Stakes (1600m) at Leopardstown (IRE) on third career run. He would need to improve on the bare form of his first couple of starts but is open to progress over this increased journey.

Martel
The Wertheimer Brothers owned Frankel colt made it two from two in a Class Two conditions event at this track over 1600m. There is scope for further progress stepping up to this new trip for André Fabre and holds strong claims. sion will be made next week but that is the plan and most likely it will be the G1 Breeders Cup Turf (2400m).

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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