Inns of Court (Invincible Spirit) was the most decorated of the five runners of the Prix du Gros-Chêne (Gr2), even though this was his first time running over 5 furlongs (1,000 metres). The winner, representing Godolphin, went clear in the finish, putting daylight between him and Sestilio Jet (French Fifteen). The pacemaker, Major Jumbo (Zebedee), came third.
Andre Fabre’s runner should now be heading for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 1,200 metres, at Royal Ascot, if he recovers well.
Inns of Court is the son of the successful stallion Invincible Spirit. His dam is out of Lune d’Or, who raced for the Moussac family, and has also won the Prix de Pomone and Malleret (Gr2s) in 2004. She also won the Premio Lydia Tesio (Gr1) in Italy and finished 3rd in the Yorkshire Oaks (Gr1) behind Dash to the Top, Friday’s Epsom Oaks (Gr1) winner Anapurna‘s dam.
1st– Inns of Court: Travelled in third by Sestilio Jet and made ground rapidly in front of the stands. He burst forward as soon as his Jockey Mickaël Barzalona pushed him to accelerate. Went clear 300m from the post and won without a crack of the whip.
2nd – Sestilio Jet: Broke well and travelled in second position. Chased the leader couldn’t match Inns of Court in the final furlongs. Finished second.
3rd – Major Jumbo: Burst from the barriers to challenge the leaders at the head of the pack. Unable to challenge Inns of Court, he fought to secure third place.
4rth – Gold Vibe: Settled in fourth position. Never any impression.
5th – Gossamer Wings: Came last out of the stalls and faded badly in front of the stalls.
Mickaël Barzalona (jockey of Inns of Court, 1st)
“I knew I was going to win all throughout the race. I asked him gently for more effort so that he wouldn’t go to hard. His entourage has decided that he should run over short distances this year. He does this beautifully in the face of qualified sprinters. He is in his element.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard (French representative for Godolphin SNC, owner of Inns of Court, 1st)
“He gave a really good feeling to Mickaël Barzalona, who his really happy about his performance. We knew he had a lot of speed, but what he has accomplished for his first try over 1000m is fantastic. We thought he could get overwhelmed at the start, but that wasn’t the case. Inns of Court is a horse with a distinct character and can have various moods. Today, he came prepared, he had his ears pricked and was ready for the fight. He is due to run in the Diamond Jubilee à Royal Ascot (Gr1 over 1.200m) but we will discuss with Mr Fabre whether he might consider running him in the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr1 over 1.000m) after this performance. All our options are open. He is a beautiful horse: he has gained strength, which often happens with the move to shorter races. He deserves his Gr1 and I hope that he will one day have his place at the stud. He deserves this as well.”
Andrea Marcialis (trainer of Sestilio Jet, 2nd)
“He ran a top-class race even though he’s a soft ground horse. He was also beaten by the best and I don’t think soft ground would have made a different to the results. I told his jockey to run behind the English horse, because he’s a good horse that is second from Gr2. Sestilio Jet finished ahead of him; it wasn’t bad form! He won’t go to Ascot because it would be too hard. I will maybe give him some holiday time because I don’t think he’ll have the ground he likes anytime soon.”
Kevin Ryan (trainer of Major Jumbo, 3rd)
“He runs well, with generosity, even though the ground isn’t exactly in his favour. Right now, he will probably take some time to rest after a busy start of the season. We gave it a try, but on this ground and in this weather, it was hard. He is generally better on softer ground.”
Year Winner S/A Time Jockey Trainer Owner Second Third
2019 Inns of Court H5 00’57’’64 M. Barzalona A. Fabre Godolphin SNC Sestilio Jet Major Jumbo
2018 Finsbury Square G6 00’57’’91 O. Peslier M. Delcher Sanchez Berend Van Dalfsen Gold Vibe A Momentofmadness
2017 Muthmir G7 00’58’’01 J. Crowley W. Haggas Hamdan Al Maktoum Finsbury Square Plusquemavie
2016 Son Cesio H5 00’59’’58 V. Cheminaud H.-A. Pantall Yves Borotra Catcall Finsbury Square
2015 Muthmir G5 00’58’’22 P. Hanagan W. Haggas Hamdan Al Maktoum Catcall Spirit Quartz
2014 Rangali G3 00’57’’32 F. Veron H.-A. Pantall Henri-Alex Pantall Catcall Dibajj