Newmarket-based handler, Marco Botti, has confirmed that his smart middle-distance performer Planteur will take his chance in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival on August 22 and go head-to-head with the mighty Frankel, as long as underfoot conditions aren’t too quick, writes Elliot Slater.
The Italian-born trainer had originally intended to give the ex-French star an outing at York recently in Group 2 company but decided not to run as the ground was riding on the fast side of good.
Planteur has long shown his best form on a decent surface and was a very smart three-year-old under the guidance of Elie Lellouche, running a close second in the French Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris before filling the same position in the Group 2 Prix Niel at Longchamp.
Disqualified after finishing fifth to Workforce in that year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomph,e after bumping rivals, the son of Danehill Dancer enjoyed a good campaign, last term, winning the Group 2 Prix du Harcourt and then the Group 1 Prix Ganay, where he showed a clean pair of heels to the high-class Sarafina, before his form tailed off during the second half of the season.
Switched to Botti’s care in March of this year, Planteur made a great start for his new connections when a tremendous third to Monterosso in the Dubai World Cup and again ran well back in Europe when a close third to Golden Lilac in the Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp in May.
Last time out though, the five-year-old ran a disappointing race in coming home a well beaten seventh of the 11 runners behind So You Think in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Much better is needed if Planteur is going to come within shouting distance of the great Frankel (officially rated 23lbs his superior) in the York Ebor 2012 betting, but all credit to Botti and his team for being brave enough to take on the great horse on the Knavesmire.
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