French Derby runner-up El Bodegon is set to once again head across the channel to France for his next outing, as James Ferguson targets the Grand Prix de Paris at ParisLongchamp.
The son of Kodiac finished his two-year-old campaign with a pair of victories on the continent, providing Ferguson with his first Group One success in the training ranks when picking up the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in October.
He went to Chantilly for the Prix du Jockey Club with a point to prove following an underwhelming reappearance in the Dante Stakes at York and although no match for the impressive winner Vadeni, he stayed on gamely in the closing stages to finish best of the supporting cast.
Now with many of the top middle-distance colts pencilled in for either the King George or the Eclipse, Ferguson is hoping another cross-channel raid proves fruitful as he prepares to try a mile and a half for the first time in the French capital on July 14.
“He’s in really good order and has come out of the race (Prix du Jockey Club) well. We’re very happy with him at home and we’re looking to go back to France for the Grand Prix de Paris,” said Ferguson.
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“Some of the horses that we were potentially trying to avoid have either run in the Irish Derby or are going to the King George or the Eclipse. Hopefully that leaves the option open for us to compete where we have been strongest with this horse (France) and where we probably have the best chance of getting a bit of rain, which I think is probably the most important factor of all.”
The Newmarket-based handler is also looking forward to getting his Royal Ascot runner-up Deauville Legend back on track in the near future. The three-year-old was beaten only a head in the King George V Stakes and Ferguson is scouring the programme book at the various options for the son of Sea The Stars moving forward.
He continued: “He ran a cracker, obviously we were gutted he didn’t win, but he lost nothing in defeat and all options are on the table – whether we go handicapping or step up in grade. We might try and run him at the July meeting, we’ll make a couple of entries and see how we get on.”