Bobby Zen

Alain and Gerard Wertheimer’s Junko (GB) (Intello {Ger}–Lady Zuzu, by Dynaformer), who collected two Group 1 contests last term, encountered heavy ground for the first time in 17 career starts and prevailed, just, in a pulsating renewal of Sunday’s G2 Grand Prix de Chantilly.

The 23-10 favourite tanked forward from an early position in rear to stalk the tempo in second after steady initial exchanges. Inching closer in the straight to challenge at the quarter-mile marker, he was ridden to poach a decisive advantage passing the furlong pole and came under a power drive to hold the late thrust of Marquisat (Ire) (Zarak {Fr}) by a nostril. Dubai Honour (Ire) (Pride Of Dubai {Ire}) finished 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Junko had two pattern-race rosettes in the bag when notching a personal best in November’s G1 Grosser Preis von Bayern at Munich and closed his 2023 campaign with another elite-level victory in December’s G1 Hong Kong Vase. He opened this term with a runner-up finish in a Mar. 8 conditions heat at this venue and ran seventh in Meydan’s Mar. 30 G1 Dubai Sheema Classic when last seen.

“I love this horse and we’re very proud of him,” commented racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau. “We know his ideal distance is a mile-and-a-half and Dubai probably came a little bit too soon after a long end-of-season, but it is good to see him back to winning ways. If everything is okay, he will likely go for the [June 30 G1] Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, a race in which he ran [third] last year.”

Pedigree Notes
Junko, one of his sire’s three elite-level winners, is the leading performer out of GIII Regret S. and GIII Edgewood S. placegetter Lady Zuzu (Dynaformer), herself kin to multiple Graded-stakes winner and GI Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and GI Woodford Reserve Manhattan H. runner-up Optimizer (English Channel)’ Lady Zuzu is also kin to the dam of stakes-winning GI Belmont Derby Invitational third Cellist (Big Blue Kitten). The April foaled-homebred bay’s third dam, GI Hempstead H. victrix Fantastic Find (Mr. Prospector), produced GI Acorn S. and GI Matron S. heroine Finder’s Fee (Storm Cat), with the latter being the third dam of unbeaten GI Breeders’ Cup Classic hero and sire Flightline (Tapit). Junko, kin to the hitherto unraced 2-year-old colt Nitoi (Siyouni {Fr}) and a yearling colt by Uncle Mo, is from the family of elite-level winners Dancing Spree (Nijinsky), Furlough (Easy Goer), Heavenly Prize (Seeking The Gold) and Oh What A Windfall (Seeking The Gold).

Sunday, Chantilly, France
GRAND PRIX DE CHANTILLY-G2, €130,000, Chantilly, 6-2, 4yo/up, 12fT, 2:32.95, hy.
1–JUNKO (GB), 126, g, 5, by Intello (Ger)
1st Dam: Lady Zuzu (MGSP-US, $112,615), by Dynaformer
2nd Dam: Indy Pick, by A.P. Indy
3rd Dam: Fantastic Find, by Mr. Prospector
O/B-Wertheimer & Frere (GB); T-Andre Fabre; J-Maxime Guyon. €74,100. Lifetime Record: G1SW-Ger & HK, G1SP-Fr, 17-8-3-3, €2,280,935. Werk Nick Rating: D+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Marquisat (Ire), 126, g, 4, Zarak (Fr)–La Marchesa (Ire), by Duke Of Marmalade (Ire). (42,000gns Ylg ’21 TATDEY). O-Godolphin; B-Mark H Dixon & Mount Coote Stud (IRE); T-Andre Fabre. €28,600.
3–Dubai Honour (Ire), 126, g, 6, Pride Of Dubai (Aus)–Mondelice (GB), by Montjeu (Ire). (110,000gns Ylg ’19 TATOCT). O-Mohamed Obaida; B-Macha Bloodstock & Meridian International (IRE); T-William Haggas. €13,650.
Margins: NO, 1 1/4, 2HF. Odds: 2.30, 4.80, 5.80.
Also Ran: Goliath (Ger), Al Qareem (Ire), Galashiels (Ire), Just Light (Fr). Video, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

The post Intello’s Junko Back On Song in Grand Prix de Chantilly Thriller appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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