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Prix ​​de Saint-Georges (Gr3): Pontos, the Czech who goes for it

Races / 15.05.2022

Longchamp, Sunday

No longer seen in competition for 189 days and a fifth place recorded in the Premio Carlo E Francesco Aloisi (Gr3, 1,200m) in Italy, Pontos (Power) created a strong surprise by winning his first Group in the Prix de Saint-Georges (Gr3). And the least we can say is that the representative of Eva Nieslanikova went for it! Already in the presentation ring, Ponntos – shaped like a real sprinter – seemed to be up like a Swiss cuckoo clock and ready to fight. On the track, he completed the Longchamp 1,000m course in 55”63. This time would quite simply have allowed him to win the last six editions of the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (Gr1)! It is also reminiscent of another dragster from the East which had made the powder speak on this straight track at Longchamp: Overdose (Starborough). But the latter was Hungarian.

End to end. After springing from his starting stall, Ponntos took the lead straight away. He really put a really severe push on the run and really covered a lot of ground with his big strides. Activated 350m from goal by Frankie Dettori, the future winner placed a new uppercut on his opponents, never allowing himself to be approached. Two and a half lengths behind him, Berneuil (Lope de Vega) runs very well after having waited in the middle of the peloton. Suesa (Night of Thunder), who galloped at the hip of Ponntos, plateaued slightly on the effort, but she recovered well to finish third, just a nose down.

The first Group of his trainer. Pontos wins the fourth race of his career here. His other victories have been in Italy and the Czech Republic, where he is trained. He allows his trainer, Miroslav Nieslanik, to win his first Group race. This is not the coach’s first attempt at black type events in France. This year, he notably presented Giannah (Olympic Glory), in the Gold River Prize – European Livestock Fund (L), and Don Clifs (Canford Cliffs), at the start of the Prix Saônois (L). These two horses are wearing the same coat as Pontos. At Gr1 level, the latter tried his luck once. It was in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Lonchamp Longines last year, where he finished sixth. From now on, the horse should head for the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr1) on June 14, during Royal Ascot, as declared by his entourage in the Czech press. After the race, Frankie Dettori, the winning jockey, told Equidia: “He started very well and I didn’t see any other horses (laughs). He had finished sixth in the Czech Derby. The owner had spoken to me and we would have signed for a spot. There we won. It’s very good for everyone. »

The Gros Chêne Prize for Berneuil. Mounted in the center of the peloton, Berneuil had to make up much more ground than the winner to finish. Looking at the times, we can see that he covered the last 600 meters in 31”31 ​​against 32”37 for Ponntos, which really highlights the performance of the representative of Antoine Gilibert and Carlos and Yann Lerner. It is now a French program that awaits Berneuil, since he should head for the Prix du Gros-Chêne (Gr2), which will be contested on June 5 at Chantilly. Yann Lerner told us: “Berneuil runs very well. The race weather today is more than good. When he had won, he had achieved a slightly worse time. Christopher [Soumillon, son jockey, ndlr] told us he felt like he was going over the top of the whole race. It was going very fast and he was coasting. He also told us that the horse changed pace a little less than last year. We will try to bring him even better for the Prix du Gros Chêne (Gr2). Today I was confident. We came across a bone, which was 41 in value. I don’t know where he comes from… Admittedly, he finished sixth in the Abbaye, but Air de Valse was second… I think Berneuil put in a good performance. I think we fell asleep during the winter putting it in cotton. There, he comes back well. We’re going to have him on top for the Gros Chêne. »

Maybe Royal Ascot for Suesa. Suesa was making her French comeback in this Prix de Saint-Georges and she behaved very well on the Longchamp straight. On this course, she could not do better than fifth. But it was in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Lonchamp Longines (Gr1), on very heavy ground! The representative of George Strawbridge remained on a thirteenth place in the Al Quoz Sprint (Gr1). For the rest of the season, Suesa could travel again, and even go and challenge the English again, on the occasion of the Royal Ascot meeting for the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr1). She should therefore find Pontos on her way. After the race, François Rohaut, his trainer, told us: “ We totally forget what happened in Dubai, it was a day without. Today is good, especially when you see the race time: you can win an Abbaye de Longchamp with such a time. The winner is surprising, worth 41… We will reflect with Mr Strawbridge and James Wigan on the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr1) at Royal Ascot, examine the trackings and review the race before making a decision. Suesa revives to finish, which is positive, and the sheepskins have had their effect. She showed a bit of competitiveness, which is positive. »


Born to go fast. Bred by Liam Butler and Churchstown House Stud, Ponntos has gone up for sale twice. A foal at Goffs’ November sale, he was bought for €2,200 by Kevin Murphy. At the Tattersalls yearling sale, then presented by Brendan Murphy, he was bought for €6,800 by Adam Wyrzyk. Pontos was conceived while his father, Power (Oasis Dream), parked at Coolmore. The stallion, who had shown a lot of speed, notably at 2 years old by winning the Coventry Stakes (Gr2, 1,200m) and the National Stakes (Gr1, 1,400m), has since joined Australia and now stands at Oaklands Stud . His mother, Blessing Box (Bahamian Bounty), won a race at 3 over 1,000m for eight outings in England. Pontos is the second winner of the latter, after Blessed to Empress (Holy Roman Emperor), who also showed speed as she won six races over distances ranging from 1,000m to 1,400m. Blessing Box also has a 3yo named All Might (Zoffany). The second dam, Bible Box (Ajwaad), won three races from 3 to 5 years old. She is the dam of six winners including bounty box (Bahamian Bounty), winner of two Listeds in England, Bahamian Box (Bahamian Bounty), third in the Prix Delahante (L), and Long live the Reds (Acclamation), second in a Listed for females over 1,200m in England.

Green Desert

Oasis Dream







Generous Gifts

Bahamian Bounty


Blessing Box

Bin Ajwaad

Bible Box

Addie Pray.



From start to 600m: 23”35

From 600m to 400m: 10”39

From 400m to 200m: 10”58

From 200m to the finish: 11”31

Total time: 55”63


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