x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Zarooni hopes Casamento will bring some cheer in France

The horse bids to follow in the hoofprints of his sire and 2005 French derby winner Shamardal when he tackles the Prix du Jockey Club.

EPSOM, ENGLAND // Casamento bids to follow in the hoofprints of his sire Shamardal this afternoon when he tackles the Prix du Jockey Club in France.

A day after Ocean War finished 11th in the Derby at Epsom, trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni hopes to do better in the French equivalent at Chantilly.

Shamardal won the French Derby for Godolphin in 2005, after Sheikh Mohammed's maroon and white colours were carried to victory by Old Vic in 1989.

And like his sire, the 2,000m is likely to suit Casamento better than the punishing 2,400m test of Epsom would have done, according to Al Zarooni.

"He's in good form and has been training well," reported Al Zarooni, who will fly to Paris to saddle the colt.

"We went for the Prix du Jockey Club over the Derby because we are not sure that he would have stayed the trip.

"We already had Ocean War in the race and it is no good having all of your eggs in one basket.

"You've got to spread around your opportunities. You have to be in it to win it, as they say."

Casamento's form stands up to the closest scrutiny, having won the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy last season on his final start. It is a race that acts as a natural stepping stone for colts towards middle-distance success with Motivator, Authorized and High Chaparral all graduating to Derby honours in the past decade.

Casamento was last seen trying in vain to match the lightening speed of the freakish Frankel in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket last month. He was the only colt in the line-up that could live with the sensational early sectionals set by Frankel and the effort saw him trail in 36th lengths behind the subsequent Guineas winner.

Roderic O'Connor finished two lengths behind Casamento that day, but that did not stop the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt from going on to win the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Casamento will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, while Godolphin will also be represented by Grand Vent, ridden by Maxime Guyon. Princess Haya or Jordan has entered Colombian, trained by John Gosden and ridden by William Buick.