BC Internationals: Turf Sprint contender Suedois
Suedois is the latest David O’Meara renovation project, following in the hoofsteps of his transformed stablemate Mondialiste.
Originally trained by C. Baillet for breeder Elisabeth Vidal, Suedois was already progressing from synthetic specialist to Group 3-class turf sprinter last season. He capped his ascent at that point by winning the 2015 Prix de Meautry (G3) and was sold for $185,014 at last year’s Arqana Arc Sale
Suedois made a promising debut for his new connections when second in the April 2 Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster. But the Le Havre gelding soon signaled that he’d be a player in much bigger prizes. In the Duke of York (G2), he was a strong runner-up to Charlie Hills’ Magical Memory. Interestingly for Suedois’ Breeders’ Cup prospects, Magical Memory was long earmarked for the Turf Sprint before his season was curtailed.
Next appearing at Royal Ascot, Suedois was beaten less than a length in fifth in a blanket finish to the Diamond Jubilee (G1). The victorious Twilight Son was only a neck up on ill-fated Hong Kong star Gold-Fun, and Suedois just missed gaining revenge on Magical Memory. Finishing a couple of lengths behind Suedois was defending champion (and Turf Sprint foe) Undrafted, who didn’t appreciate the rain-softened ground.
Suedois posted his best performance to chase Mile (G1) threat Limato home in the July Cup (G1), edging multiple Group 1-winning filly Quiet Reflection. The deep and talented cast also included Washington DC, Magical Memory, reigning Turf Sprint hero Mongolian Saturday, and Twilight Son. Although Limato was in a different zone, Suedois could claim some bragging rights as best of the rest.
Back to his native France for the Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1), Suedois was one of a trio who broke through the gate before the start. He traveled well in the vanguard, but flattened out in fourth in the 6 1/2-furlong test. When a trudging third in the Haydock Sprint Cup (G1), he couldn’t confirm his prior form with Quiet Reflection and The Tin Man.
Suedois settled for third once again in the Prix de la Foret (G1), where he was beaten farther by Limato over seven furlongs than in the six-furlong July Cup. Nor could he get past the stubborn runner-up, Turf Sprint rival Karar.
As those bare results suggest, it’s been a tale of two halves of the season for Suedois. The first half produced his most rousing efforts, while the second half has been productive rather than dynamic. Perhaps that’s a function of circumstances in particular races in a notoriously contentious division. Or perhaps it’s a sign of going slightly off the boil throughout a year when he’s running every month.
Although given a cross-entry in the Mile, Suedois’ first preference is sensibly the Turf Sprint. And it’s reassuring that his July Cup highlight came on the firmest ground he’s encountered. The downhill is a question mark, but if he’s still got enough freshness in those legs, he fits well on form.
Photo courtesy Great British Racing International