Saonois (blue): a second Prix du Jockey Club winner for his sirePICTURE: DYGA Laurent/Scoopdyga
Second Jockey Club
Chantilly: Prix du Jockey Club (Group 1), 1m2 1/2f, 3yo c
SAONOIS (c Chichicastenango - Saonoise by Homme de Loi)
Bred by Earl Haras De Nonant Le Pin in France
DESPITE never receiving large books while standing in France, Chichicastenango can boast a second Prix du Jockey Club winner in Saonois, who swept from the rear of the field to narrowly deny Saint Baudolino in a rough renewal of the race on Sunday.
Chichicastenango, who died from colic earlier this year in Japan, first hit the headlines in 2008 when Vision d'Etat, one of 28 foals from his second crop, took the Prix du Jockey Club. Another representative, Bubble Chic, ran second to Reliable Man in last year's renewal, making Chichicastenango the most successful sire in the race since it was switched to 1m 2 1/2f in 2005.
The best runner produced by Listed winner Smadoun and out of a minor winner, Smala, who was born with her left eye missing, Chichicastenango was a credit to both parents, winning two Group 1 races and nearly €700,000 in prize-money.
Although a late foal, he ran seven times as a two-year-old, with a victory in the Group 3 Prix Thomas Byron the highlight. At three, he made further improvement to defeat Anabaa Blue in the Prix Lupin before falling short by half a length to the colt in their next outing, the Prix du Jockey Club. He later captured the Grand Prix de Paris at the expense of Mizzen Mast.
Retired to stand for €1,950 at Haras de Victot, Chichicastenango made an immediate impact by siring Group 3 winners Chichi Creasy and Chinandega in his first 36-strong crop.
The emergence of Saonois, who is one of six Pattern winners by the stallion, is a bitter-sweet development for the Shadai Stallion Station in Japan, which secured Chichicastenango in late 2008 and stood him for only three seasons before his death aged 14 in January this year.
His first Japanese crop are two-year-olds and his foals were well received at last summer's JRHA Select Foal Sale with four selling for an average of 42,000,000yen (£356,237/€430,370).
The only stakes winner within three generations of his family, Saonois is a half-brother to minor French winner Saint Baume and the second foal out of multiple winning Saonoise. He is bred along similar lines to Vision d'Etat; the 2008 Prix du Jockey Club winner is out of a mare by Garde Royale who is the sire of Saonois' second dam.