Easter Monday, Auteuil Racecourse (Paris). - Bred in Normandy by Brigitte Bourez and Claude Pigoreau, 5yo gelding Via Dolorosa (König Shuffle) won the Prix du President de la Republique Chase (French National-Gr3) practically from start to finish, holding off Bazille (Panoramic) and Kyalco (Falco) in the run-in.
Via Dolorosa finished 4th in the obvious prep race, the Prix Lutteur III Chase (L). He's trained by Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé and was ridden to perfection over the 4,700 meters, 18 jumps and €225,000 by young rider Olivier d'Andigné.
The winner is owned by stable Guarato, the top trotting trainer in France, associated with Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé, Charles Maquennehan and Vincent Fournier. One of the other favourites of the race, Cobra de Larré (Discover d'Auteuil), who won the Hubert d'Aillières Hurdle (L) prior to his fall on Monday, is also owned by a well-known trotting trainer, Sylvain Roger, who put him in training with his most versatile colleague, Louis Baudron, who holds a licence in both codes!
Already winner of the 2016 edition of the race, Blue Dragon (Califet) has completely dominated the Prix Léon Rambaud Hurdle (Gr2) with a spotless ride from David Cottin. Trainer Guy Cherel placed his three runners on the podium as Solway (Califet) and Bosseur (Coastal Path) finished second and third ahead of a disappointing Alex de Larredya (Crillon), who ran flat.