Sealiway and Rougir fuel Chehboub family’s 2021 Classic dreams

Horse Racing Sealiway ParisLongchamp
Sealiway: Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner will start in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau. Photo: France Galop/scoopdyga.com (Elliott Chouraqui)

By Jon Lees

France: Sealiway, last year’s champion two-year-old in France, is on schedule to take on a Classic campaign that will feature the Poule d’Essai des Poulains with every expectation he can step up in trip for the Prix du Jockey Club as well.

The Frederic Rossi-trained colt, who gained a runaway victory in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere which he won by eight lengths on heavy ground, had his last start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland, where he finished fifth.

He is in the early stages of his training programme at Rossi’s main base in Calas, Marseille, from where he emerged to deliver a first G1 victory in France for the Chehboub family’s Haras de la Gousserie, which owns Sealiway with breeder Guy Pariente, .

“He has had a good winter and is in good shape,” reported Pauline Chehboub. “He has been working good but he has done nothing serious yet. I can’t wait to see him on the racecourse again.

“First we will run in the Prix de Fontainebleau (at Longchamp in April) and after that the target will be the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and then we will see about the Jockey Club. His trainer thinks he has a lot of stamina so we will see if he can stay or not.”

Horse Racing Frederic Rossi
Pauline Chehboub with Frederic Rossi (right): planning Classic programme for Sealiway. Photo: courtesy of Pauline Chehboub

Haras de la Gousserie was bought by Kamel Chehboub, with brother Bouzid, after Spirit One carried their colours to victory in the 2008 Arlington Million. They now have 100 horses for breeding and racing which are managed by Pauline, daughter of Kamel, with Rossi, who gained his first Classic win in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches last year, as principal trainer.

Sealiway’s Breeders’ Cup challenge was undermined by a poor start and early interference, but he made up ground to finish under five lengths behind Fire At Will.

Chehboub said: “It was good experience for him, but if we could do it again we would want him to get a better start, which you need in America. After all he still ran a good race despite meeting a lot of traffic.  

“He doesn’t need heavy ground. He can go on that and good ground. There is no problem there, but he needs a good start like he had in the Lagardere as you can’t wait with him.”

The family’s Classic aspirations are not limited to Sealiway with G3-winning filly Rougir likely to go for the French 1,000 Guineas.

“It’s very exciting for us because we have Rougir for the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches,” Chehboub added. “She is trained by Cedric Rossi and finished third in the Marcel Boussac last year.”

• Visit the Frederic Rossi website

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