Jerome Reynier has an eye on the Prix Ganay after Skalleti claimed a second Prix d’Harcourt success at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
The seven-year-old was an eyecatching winner of the Group Two prize under Maxime Guyon, showing an impressive turn of foot when in the clear to breeze past Champion Stakes hero Sealiway in the closing stages of the 10-furlong event.
Last season Skalleti took the same contest by a length from Andre Fabre’s Mare Australis, who lined up once again this year and finished third.
The victory was an 18th for the grey, who at one stage was unbeaten in seven runs and has only been unplaced three times in 25 career outings.
“We were really pleased with him, it wasn’t easy to win the Prix d’Harcourt for the second time in a row,” said Reynier.
“He came back safe and sound, we were so happy with him.”
The late lunge for the line was a deliberate tactic employed by Guyon, who Reynier felt was a little too eager to ride for home when Skalleti finished third on his seasonal debut in the Prix Exbury in March.
“We wanted to come at the end, Maxime went a bit too early on his reappearance in the Prix Exbury at Saint-Cloud,” he said.
“I just wanted to make sure he was going follow them and then go for the line in the final furlong and that’s what he did.
“He switched on the outside and came very easily towards the end, he won only by three-quarters of a length but it was pretty easily.”
Runner-up to Addeybb in the 2020 running of the Champion Stakes, Skalleti is known to be particularly effective on testing ground but the track at ParisLongchamp at the weekend was riding faster than the very soft going description would suggest.
“He’s just amazing because I thought the ground was not going to be soft enough,” Reynier explained.
“Race times were pretty fast, 121 (seconds) for seven furlongs down the hill so I thought the ground was soft but horses were going pretty quick on it.
“He won the Prix d’Ispahan on better ground though so he is able to quicken things up on any ground, but he’s better on soft to heavy.
“We were not lucky enough to get that ground this year, but he’s done it anyway and we are really happy with him.”
Provided conditions are favourable for the horse, the Group One Prix Ganay is next on Skalleti’s agenda.
Reynier added: “He’ll be entered in the Ganay in three weeks’ time and depending on the weather and how he feels, that will be the target.”