Puchkine records surprise win in Prix Jean Prat

Puchkine recorded a surprise Group 1 victory in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville on Sunday, having failed to land a blow at Group company previously.

Vadeni trainer Jean Claude Rouget.
Vadeni trainer Jean Claude Rouget. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

The son of Starspangledbanner was unbeaten in two runs as a juvenile and started the year off well with a success over a mile in the Prix Torrestrella at Toulouse. Although he finished second in a Listed contest under the same conditions subsequently, the three-year-old struggled to get involved in either the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) or the Group 3 Prix Paul de Moussac.

Puchkine appeared to benefit from a good early pace in the Prix Jean Prat, with jockey Ioritz Mendizabal able to chase the leader in the opening stages before hitting the front with two furlongs to run. Although he came under a little pressure in the closing stages, the colt stayed on well to score by two-and-a-half lengths ahead of Havana Cigar.

It was a well-timed victory for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, who is currently taking time away from the track whilst he undergoes treatment for lymphoma.

"We are all thinking of Mr Rouget right now, we want to thank him," said Nicolas de Watrigant, representative for owner-breeder Alain Jathiere, in an interview on Sky Sports Racing.

"We've always hoped for the best with this horse, he has always shown potential.

"In the Poule d'Essai des Poulains he didn't like the soft ground, he was pulling a lot. He's a horse who needs a straight course and Longchamp didn't suit him.

"We always knew he was a good horse, he was working very well, so we took the decision to supplement him and I think he will come back for the Maurice de Gheest, he's full of speed."

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