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Diane Longines : The coronation of Channel

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Prix de Diane Longines, this Sunday at Chantilly. Owner Samuel De Barros’ filly, trained in Chantilly by Francis-Henri Graffard and ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot gamely held off the strong attack of Commes (Le Havre), one of four runners in the race trained by Jean-Claude Rouget. Grand Glory closed strongly to take third place under Gérald Mossé, who himself has won this race on five occasions.

Etoile (Siyouni) was placed fourth ahead of Cala Tarida (Garswood) trained by Frédéric Rossi near Marseilles. The favourite for the race, Siyarafina (Pivotal), owned by His Highness the Aga Khan, only managed to take sixth place.

It is a first victory in the Prix de Diane Longines for Pierre-Charles Boudot, Francis-Henri Graffard and Samuel De Barros, owner of Channel. And what’s more! Samuel de Barros, whose wife, Elodie Mangeard de Barros comes from a stud renowned for producing trotters, has only one racehorse in training!

The race

What the connections said:

Pierre-Charles Boudot (rider of  Channel, 1st )

“I haven’t always had a lot of luck in races such as the Prix de Diane Longines. Today though everything went like a dream. Channel is a very easy filly to ride. When Francis-Henri Graffard gave me the orders, he left me a lot of freedom. I was able to ride her up near the lead, and when there isn’t a lot of pace, it’s important to be in a good position and not miss the kick. Channel lacks in experience, but she has a great mentality, and she learns very quickly.” 

Francis-Henri Graffard (trainer of Channel, 1st)

“These moments are the reason why we train. To win a Classic. This was a dream of mine when I wanted to start training in Chantilly. Incidentally, I come from Paray-le-Monial, as does Pierre-Charles Boudot and my grandfather had horses in training with his father! Channel debuted her racing career well, even though she needed time to come out of the winter. I like to get the fillies to win early so that you can create a program for them, and I found her a maiden at Lyon-Parilly, a nice selective track, where I also debuted Erupt. At Lyon, she showed a smart turn of foot to win her maiden. She is not very big but she is very brave. When she really accelerated away I never even looked at the others. I knew she would stay to the line. She always did everything well, but to aim so high so quickly, it wasn’t easy! It wasn’t easy either to enter in the Arc. We will have to see how she comes out of the race. Now we have the problem of having a good horse!” 

Samuel De Barros (owner of Channel, 1st)

“I have not got the most typical of backgrounds. It was a discovery of love if you like. I had a stable and quite comfortable life in Paris. I met my future wife, who was already quite into horses. She almost forced me to go to the Prix du President de la Republique at Vincennes, it was extraordinary experience packed full of emotions. I could have never imagined winning the Prix de Diane some ten years later. This is a win for the 40 year-olds, like Francis-Henri Graffard, Philip Prevost-Baratte, Bertrand and Anne-Charlotte Le Métayer but equally, it’s a win for my wife. It’s important to work with confident people. This beautiful story and Channel will surely not stop here. My wife is established on the trotting scene where she has a big interest. I prefer the flat racing, the international aspect is very attractive.” 

Gianluca Bietolini (trainer of Grand Glory, 3rd)

“I am delighted with the filly. The race did not go exactly as I had planned: I had asked  Gérald Mossé to follow Siyarafina, as she had the leading chance. The problem was that she didn’t advance! So the jockey had to change his line. I have no regrets. Before the race, I would have been delighted with a third place. Her jockey didn’t know the filly beforehand, but he gave her a brilliant ride. He said if he’s asked her to go earlier, he could have won. We haven’t really thought about her next race, as we were waiting to see how she ran today. Perhaps the Prix de la Nonette (Gr2)… We will see.”

Frédéric Rossi (trainer of Cala Tarida, 5th)

“The distance of 2,100 metres is her maximum trip. She is better over 1,800/2,000 metres and we are planning on running her in the United States at the end of the year. She brought me great joy today. We thought she was going get there right until the line, and Grégory [Benoist, her jockey, ed.] told us that he thought she was going to win at one moment. She ran a fantastic race, it’s super.”