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Royal-Oak : There’s a new champion stayer in town

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The 130th renewal of the Prix Royal-Oak (Gr1), on Sunday at ParisLongchamp, went to 3-year-old Technician (Mastercraftsman), trained in Britain by Martyn Meade for Team Valor.

Ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, the grey had already won the Qatar Prix Chaudenay (Gr2) on the same course and distance after finishing 6th in the St Leger (Gr1) at Doncaster. For his first trial against older horses, he waited the final straight behind the leaders and finally took over on the very heavy turf to beat French defender Call the Wind (Frankel), homebred by George Strawbridge.

So both the first and the second of this stayers’ championship represent American stables! The French fancy Holdthasigreen (Hold That Tiger), winner of the previous edition of the race, fought hard once again but could not quite pick up as he used to and obliged in third, three and a half lengths down the field.

Technician was purchased for € 40,000 at Goffs in ireland. His full sister was sold € 240,000 at Arqana last August to Phoenix Thoroughbred, a Team Valor rival syndicate on the International racing scene.

Technician’s 2nd dam is also the 3rd dam of Recoletos, a Prix d’Ipsahan (Gr1) and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Gr1) winner for the Hinojosa family.