France: Aviator to be added to Prix du Jockey Club field


Imperial Aviator: will be supplemented for the French Derby

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

France: Roger Charlton has revealed that wide-margin London Gold Cup winner Imperial Aviator will be supplemented for Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.

It had been thought that Imperial Aviator would contest the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot after making a mockery of his opening handicap mark at Newbury, but Charlton on Wednesday announced the horse would instead be fast-tracked to Group 1 company.

Murphy on board

“Imperial Aviator due to be supplemented tomorrow for Sunday’s Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly,” Charlton tweeted.

Confirming the decision to the Racing Post, Charlton said: “The plan is to supplement tomorrow all being well, and, at the moment, all is well.

“Oisin Murphy will travel over to ride him. I am pretty sure he will be better suited to the easy side than the fast side but it is an unknown dimension to the affair.”

Chantilly was subject to torrential rain at the start of the week and on Wednesday morning was described as heavy, with a penetrometer reading of 4.7

Imperial Aviator beat leading Investec Derby fancy Ulysses on his reappearance at Leicester in April on ground described as good to soft, which is the softest surface he has tackled so far.

O’Brien squad down to two

Aidan O’Brien removed eight of his ten entries for Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club at the latest forfeit stage on Wednesday morning, with Epsom ante-post fancies US Army Ranger, Deauville and Idaho all disappearing from the Chantilly reckoning.

O’Brien’s remaining representatives for Sunday’s €1.5 million French Derby are Bravery – who is also engaged in the Investec Derby at Epsom – and Black Sea, who does not hold an Epsom engagement.

British contenders

The David Simcock-trained Algometer also remains in the lists for both Classic as 16 stood their ground for the Jockey Club ahead of Thursday’s supplementary stage, when Poule d’Essai third Dicton is expected to be added to the field.

The other British-trained horses still engaged are John Gosden’s Foundation, Richard Hannon’s Ventura Storm and Harry Dunlop’s Robin Of Navan.

Massaat – who is expected to run at Epsom – was another Derby contender taken out of the Jockey Club. However, owner Hamdan Al Maktoum could still be represented by the Freddy Head-trained Raseed.


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