The Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) at Chantilly on Sunday was expected to be something of a formality for the Andre Fabre-trained Persian King, who had won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains last month, but the son of Kingman was overhauled close home by 13/1 chance Sottsass – which means a welcome return to prominence here for one of France’s most successful trainers.
TRC TRAINER OF THE WEEK
The health problems previously affecting his string have removed JEAN-CLAUDE ROUGET (+4pts, #36 from #40) from his former position as a top-ten trainer, but his skills have not diminished judged by the performance of Sottsass. The Pau handler has a very good colt on his hands in the son of Siyouni.
Rouget – whose other best horses since 2011 include Almanzor, Zelzal, Taareef and Brametot – has a dramatic rankings trajectory as a result of his travails. In the graph below, his peak performance index of 1029pts was achieved on October 23, 2016, which was the last of ten consecutive weeks that he occupied the #7 slot in the world.
Rouget does not yet feature in the table of the world’s leading trainers by aggregate wins in 2019:
We would expect Aidan O’Brien to top this list by the end of the year, seeing as he has the most horsepower of any trainer in the world. TRC Global Rankings will continue to answer a different question: which trainers are more likely to come out top in head-to-head competition next week, given both the aggregate of their results and the efficiency with which this was gained.
Click here for a list of all last week’s biggest TRC Global Rankings points gainers
Click here for a list of all the week’s Group and Graded winners