After his narrow loss to Call the Wind (Frankel) in the 2018 Qatar Prix du Cadran (Gr1), Holdthasigreen (Hold that Tiger) turned the tables on this occasion. The gelding carries the colours of Jean Gilbert (he is owned in partnership with Claude Le Lay) and is trained in the commune of Le Lude, in the Sarthe region, by Bruno Audouin, having provided a fairytale win for his connections. A little less incisive this season after a 2018 campaign which climaxed with victory in the Prix Royal-Oak (Gr1), Holdthasigreen rediscovered his old self after a summer break. He was ridden by Tony Piccone. The combination made all the running and were able to contain the finishing thrust of Call the Wind. Dee Ex Bee (Farhh), the British-trained favourite, disappointed as he was safely held in third.
Claude Le Lay (co-owner of Holdthasigreen, 1st)
“The win has given us so much pleasure! We tasted defeat in this race last year. However, we weren’t disappointed as the horse has given us so much pleasure. Things hadn’t been going well for him this season as his blood picture showed that he was a sick horse. He’s an exceptional customer, as despite making his return, he was able to repel all comers. He will tell us if we should head in the direction of the Prix Royal-Oak. We consider our horses like our children! “
Freddy Head (the trainer of Call the Wind, 2nd)
“Call The Wind was beaten by his draw. Had he been drawn towards the inside, he could either have tracked the leader or travelled with the pace. However, his nine draw dictated that he had to wait. Clearly, the barrier draw which determined a horse’s place in the starting stalls was important. He also needed a stiffer pace.”
Mark Johnston (the trainer of Dee Ex Bee, 3rd)
“We’re very disappointed. Granted that he lacks a real turn of foot, he needs to wind the pace up some way from home. He didn’t relish the French style of racing.”