Prix de Saint-Georges History : The first French sprint of the season

Prix de Saint-Georges History : The first French sprint of the season

May, ParisLongchamp

Prix de Saint-Georges

Group 3, 3-year-old and above, 1,000m/5f, €56,000

Created in 1929

Last winner: Sestilio Jet (c4 FRA by French Fifteen ex Hideaway Girl, by Fasliyev), owned by Akhal Teke Properties, bred by Michel Monfort, trained by Andrea Maecialis, ridden by Lanfranco Dettori.

Record-time: 55”2 by Sainte Marine (1998) and Peace Offering (2007).

The race will be run in 2020 for the 91st time

The 2019 edition

Sestilio Jet (French Fifteen), bred in Brittany by Michel Monfort and trained in Chantilly by the Italian handler Andrea Marcialis, won the Prix de Saint-Georges (Gr3) over the straight 5 furlong-trip of ParisLongchamp.

Ridden by Lanfranco Dettori, who only had that one ride on French Guineas day at ParisLongchamp, Sestilio Jet, winner of the Criterium Nazionale (L) in Milan at 2, held Batwan (Kendargent) after taking over the host Ken Colt (Kendargent).

The first three home in the race were bred in France or assimilated, and their sires are French-bred and based in France. French Fifteen is at € 6,000 at the Haras du Logis Saint-Germain while Kendargent is at Haras de Colleville and his services are available at € 17,000.

Sestilio Jet was bought € 17,000 as a yearling at the October Arqana sales by Andrea Marcialis. He races for Akhal Teke Properties. His younger brother Vela (Pedro the Great) was sold for € 75,000, also in Deauville, and he won his maiden in April 2018 in Maisons-Laffitte for owner OTI Management. Their older sister Got Away (American Post) came in second in at Cheltenham in the Silver Trophy Chase (Gr2) in 2018.

History

The memory of Vicomte d’Harcourt, who passed away in September 1928, was doubly honoured in 1929 by the Société d’Encouragement, the board of which he had chaired from 1920 to 1926. The Longchamp race card was amended to include both the Prix d’Harcourt and the Prix de Saint-Georges, an evocation of the stud farm that had for a long time served as the cradle of his breeding operation.

Run over 5 furlongs on the straight track at Longchamp, the Prix de Saint-Georges has only left this racecourse six times: between 1943 and 1945 for Maisons-Laffitte; in 1968 for Chantilly, and in 2017 and 2018 to Deauville as Longchamp was being reconstructed. Its distance has never changed. Because of the war, it was not held in 1940.

The Prix de Saint-Georges is the first of only four pattern races run over 5 furlongs in France; it is followed by the Prix du Gros Chêne (Group 2) in June, the Prix du Petit Couvert (Group 3) in September and the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (Group 1) in early October, within the Qatar Arc de Triomphe weekend.

Due to the relative paucity in terms of the breeding of French sprinters, the Prix de Saint-Georges frequently attracts foreign runners. The first to return home victorious was Polyfoto (1965). 15 other overseas visitors have since prevailed: Constans (1972, 1973, 1974), Sharpo (1981), Elbio (1992), Hever Golf Rose (1997), Black Rock Desert (1999), Sampower Star (2000), Best Walking (2003), The Trader (2004), Peace Offering (2007), Mood Music (2009), Inxile (2011), Beyond Desire (2012) and Mecca’s Angel (2015)..

The Saint-Georges stud farm
Situated in the Allier region near Moulins, the Saint-Georges stud originally housed the breeding stock of Edouard Fould. When he died in 1881, the stable’s racing and breeding roster were put up for sale, and a large part was purchased by the former owner’s partners, Soubeyran, Harcourt and Castries. When the latter himself died in 1886 and then Soubeyran retired in 1890, the partnership was dissolved and the Saint-Georges stud was run by Harcourt alone until the transfer of his stock to the Marly-la-Ville stud farm in 1910.

Owners

  • François Dupré (4 wins): Polic (1957), Texana (1958), Jannic (1960), Fortino (1962) ;
  • Ms.Monica Sheriffe (4 wins): Constans (1972, 1973, 1974), Sharpo (1981).
  • The Wertheimers (4 wins): Zambelli (1930), Makila (1934) for Pierre, Dananeyev (2001), Only Answer (2008) for Wertheimer&Frère.
  • R. C. Strauss (3 wins): Last Tycoon (1986), Pont Aven (1991), Sainte Marine (1998).
  • Aga Khan (2 wins): Carissimo (1961), Adraan (1980).
  • M. & Mme André Rueff (2 wins): Yours (1966, 1967).
  • Desmond Walter Molins (2 wins): Girl Friend (1976, 1977).
  • Haras d’Etreham (2 wins): Sicyos (1984), Tenue de Soirée (1987).
  • Gérard Samama (2 wins): Catcall (2013, 2014).

Trainers

  • François Mathet (5 wins): Polic (1957), Texana (1958), Jannic (1960), Fortino (1962), Adraan (1980).
  • Arthur Jeremy Tree (4 wins): Constans (1972, 1973, 1974), Sharpo (1981).
  • Robert Collet (4 wins): Last Tycoon (1986), Pont Aven (1991), West Man (1994), Sainte Marine (1998).
  • Jean Doumen (3 wins): Thread (1941), Fast Street (1951), Blysmus (1959).
  • Alec Head (3 wins): Aria Viva (1953), Palariva (1956), Carissimo (1961).
  • Christiane Head-Maarek (3 wins) : Sicyos (1984), Tenue de Soirée (1987), Anabaa (1996).
  • Carlos Laffon-Parias (3 wins): Struggler (1995), Dananeyev (2001), Maybe Forever (2002).

Riders

  • Yves-Saint-Martin (5 wins): Jannic (1960), Fortino (1962), Montgomery (1971), Adraan (1980), Last Tycoon (1986).
  • Fernand Rochetti (4 wins): Makila (1934), Iskandar (1937), Borée (1946), Sarrau (1950).
  • Freddy Head (4 wins): Tudor Black (1968), Sicyos (1984), Glifahda (1988), Anabaa (1996).
  • Maurice Philipperon (3 wins): Prime Action (1970), King of Macedon (1979), Parioli (1985).
  • Lester Piggott (3 wins): Constans (1972, 1974), Flirting Around (1975).
  • Cash Asmussen (3 wins): Holst (1989), Pont Aven (1991), Robin des Pins (1993).
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