La Cressonniere continues Jean-Claude Rouget’s dream season

Jean-Claude Rouget continued his fantastic campaign as La Cressonniere claimed a brilliant victory in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly yesterday.
La Cressonniere continues Jean-Claude Rouget’s dream season

Rouget has been the dominant force in the French Classics this season, with La Cressonniere having previously landed the French 1000 Guineas before Almanzor provided the trainer with his second French Derby triumph at the start of this month.

Stepped up a mile and a quarter for the first time, La Cressonniere was the 11-4 favourite in the hands of Cristian Demuro and having been given a confident ride, she showed off her superb acceleration in the straight to get up and beat Left Hand by half a length.

Volta finished third, while the British and Irish challengers were out of luck.

Rouget, who also won Friday’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot with Qemah, said: “I have to admit, when I woke up this morning I didn’t think I was going to win the race simply because you wonder how long can it continue after the last two weeks.

“I have always believed in unbeaten horses and if you look at this race, with the exception of last year, most of the winners have been unbeaten.

“I was slightly worried where she was in the race, she was a bit far back, but the main thing is that you relax your horse no matter where you are.”

Rouget becomes the first trainer in history to complete the French Derby and Oaks double on two occasions.

He previously achieved the feat with Prix du Jockey Club hero Le Havre, La Cressonniere’s sire, and Prix de Diane scorer Stacelita in 2009.

Aidan O’Brien was doubly represented in his bid to win the race for the first time.

The pacesetting Coolmore passed the post fifth, while her better fancied stable companion Ballydoyle was sixth having been on the back foot from the off from her wide starting berth.

O’Brien said: “Ballydoyle didn’t like the ground, she really needs it fast, and she had a very bad draw.

“I wouldn’t mind dropping her back to a mile, she’s in the Falmouth and everything will be considered, but I’m not saying she doesn’t stay, she just needs fast ground.

“Coolmore stayed on well, she also probably wants better ground, it was a bit dead here today. Her run petered out.”

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