Tuesday, 5 June 2012
: Saonois was a surprise winner of the G1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) at Chantilly on Sunday, giving rookie jockey Antoine Hamelin a classic victory just months after turning professional.
Saonois led home a FRench trifecta to also provide a first classic win for his trainer Jean-Pierre Gauvin.
Saonois came from almost last to win a rough contest that saw the Epsom Derby winning father and son team of trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Joseph O'Brien fail in their attempt to complete the double with Imperial Monarch
Imperial Monarch had a dreadful run and by the time the 20 runners entered the straight he was at the back of the field.
While Hamelin chose to thread his way through the field on Saonois O'Brien went wide and while Imperial Monarch made some headway he finish just outside the placings.
Hamelin succeeded in wending his way to the front and fought out a thrilling finish with Andre Fabre's Saint Baudolino, under Maxime Guyon, and Nutello, trained by Chantilly-based Spaniard Carlos Laffon-Parias.
Gauvin, who trains 35 horses near Lyon, had to be shepherded off the track as his excitement got the better of him in the closing stages when he ran on to the course to give his runner encouragement.
Favourite French Fifteen, second to Epsom Derby winner Camelot in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last month, never had any chance when he found himself behind a wall of horses in the straight.