Dubai: Legendary French trainer Andre Fabre will experience a touch of nostalgia when he saddles the Godolphin-owned Victor Ludorum in Monday’s Group 1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains ( French 2,000 Guineas) at Deauville, France.
It was 34 years ago that Fabre, now a distinguished figure at all major racecourses in the world at the ripe old age of 75, gifted His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai a first-ever French 2000 Guineas victory with Soviet Star, a son of the champion American sire Nureyev.
Since then, Godolphin, the stable created by Sheikh Mohammaed in 1992, has won four more Guineas trophies with Persian King (2019), Shamardal (2005), Bachir (2000) and Vettori (1995).
Victor Ludorum will bid to emulate his sire Shamardal in what promises to be a huge week for Team Godolphin with the 2020 British flat-racing season also kicking off on Monday and plunging straight into the British Classics over the weekend.
The Andre Fabre-trained colt comes into the French classic at Deauville off an unbeaten 2019 campaign which culminated in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp in October.
Victor Ludorum (Mickael Barzalona) makes his second appearance of 2020 after coming home third behind The Summit and Ecrivain, who both re-oppose, in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau over a mile at Longchamp on Monday, 11 May.
Godolphin’s French representative, Lisa-Jane Graffard said on the stable’s website: “Victor Ludorum has done really well since his run in the Fontainebleau but he will nevertheless need to leave that run behind him and be able to perform up to his best on Monday.
“While he is the highest-rated horse in the race, he faces several rivals who have shown the potential to deliver a G1-winning performance and none can be discounted, making this a very competitive renewal.
“Before the horses go to post it’s worth paying tribute to everyone in the industry who has worked so hard to look after the horses, and to ensure a safe resumption of racing,” she concluded.
Fabre can complete a Classic double on Monday as he also saddles favourite Tropbeau in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (1,000 Guineas).
Tropbeau, confirmed herself as the one to beat in the race after posting a gutsy win in the Prix de la Grotte, the main Classic trial for fillies.
Godolphin, who won the race last year with the Henri Pantall-trained Castle Lady, does not have a contender in this year’s renewal.
Castle Lady was the only Godolphin-owned filly to win the race in its history.
Meanwhile, Europe’s champion juvenile Pinatubo, is set to run in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, England on Saturday, June 6, with trainer Charlie Appleby also sending out international Group 1 scorer Ghaiyyath in the Coronation Cup on Thursday.
Monday, June 1 Deauville Racecourse, France
Poule dEssai des Poulains (2,000 Guineas)
Victor Ludorum 2, Ecrivainout 7/2, Alson 9/2 Arapahoin 9 The Summitout 9 Kenway 22 Shinning Oceanout 22 Celestinout 40 Reshabarout 50
Poule dEssai des Pouliches (1,000 Guineas)
Tropbeau 2 Simeen 7/2 Dream And Doin 13/2 Magic Attitude 8 Marietain 8 Tickle Me Green 8 Savarin 10 Khayzaraan 14 Emoji1 6 Speak Of The Devilout 20 Bionic Woman 25 Flighty Lady 25 Mageva 25 My Loves Passionout 40 Ellerslie Laceout 50.