Monday 31 July 2023
On Saturday, Hukum (SEA THE STARS) won one of the most competitive renewals of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in recent years.
A field of 10 lined up for the Ascot contest, seven of whom were already Group 1 winners. However it was Hukum – winner of last year’s Coronation Cup at Epsom – who prevailed ahead of Classic winner Westover. The Shadwell homebred is a full brother to champion Baaeed, and could next head to ParisLongchamp for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Trainer Owen Burrows commented: “It was extra special to see Hukum come out on top and we know he stays the Arc trip and handles softer ground. If those conditions prevail in October, they wouldn't put him off. He'd be a genuine Arc contender and you don't often get one of those.”
On the following day on the opposite side of the channel at Deauville, it was the turn of SIYOUNI filly Mqse De Sévigné, who justified her supplementation for the Prix Rothschild and became a new Group 1 winner for her sire – his third top-level winner of 2023.
The filly, fittingly owned and bred by Baron Edouard de Rothschild, is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Meandre.
Her owner said after the race: “When Nashwa won the Falmouth, [trainer] André Fabre called me and said we have to do the same and run Mqse De Sévigné over a mile. He said she will run at the end of August in the Prix Quincey and I said 'no, we will supplement her for the Prix Rothschild'. Not because of the name of the race, but she had already won a Group 3 and I thought that if he believes that the straight mile here would suit her then we might as well try a Group 1 against her own sex.
“The result is amazing, a real dream, to win this race three miles away from where she was born, from an old family developed by my father. I feel we have to give a chance to young talented French jockeys and Alexis Pouchin gave her a brilliant ride. I think it is tremendously wonderful for the stud and all the team that work very hard. We will now enjoy the moment and the time will come soon enough to decide when and where she will run again.”
On the same card, another SIYOUNI – Elbaz - made an impressive debut in the Prix de Crèvecoeur. The two-year-old Aga Khan Studs homebred colt is out of Stakes performer Elennga, who herself is a half-sister to SIYOUNI’s three-time Group 1 winning filly Ervedya.
The colt’s trainer Jean-Claude Rouget was excited for his future: "I could tell after he'd been in training with me for about a fortnight last autumn that there was something about him. He has never given us a single day's problem and I've had this race in mind for him for a long time, rather than give him a debut over shorter.
"I see him as a Classic prospect for next year so he'll only run two or maybe three times this year.”