In its 176 prior runnings, only 14 horses that won the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas) parlayed that victory into success in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby).
Eleven of those came prior to the Great War (1915-18). Right Royal dispatched the long spell of non-dual winners in 1961, with no doubling up until after the turn of the 20th century. Shamardal broke the drought in 2005 and was soon followed by his son Lope de Vega in 2010.
On June 4, Al Shaqab Racing and Gerard Augustin-Normand's Brametot added his name to that list in the final strides of the 10 1/2-furlong QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club (G1).
A dozen 3-year-olds made their way to the Chantilly starting gate with Brametot, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, the favorite off his Abu Dhabi Poule d'Essai des Poulains (G1) triumph.
Andre Fabre had entered three, including last year's Criterium de Saint-Cloud (G1) winner Waldgeist and the son of Galileo was coming into the Derby off his 2017 debut, a second in the 10-furlong Prix Greffulhe (G2) at Saint Cloud.
A perennial threat to any classic winner's circle, Aidan O'Brien, seeking his first French Derby win, also had three entered with first-call jockey Ryan Moore choosing Kentucky-bred War Decree (War Front ) over Ballydoyle's two Galileo colts.
Godolphin threw a pair of longshots into the mix, and the Wertheimer family sought their fourth Derby with Plumatic (Dubawi).
The springing of the gates caught Brametot flat-footed and disadvantaged from the outset. Last along the rail through the early furlongs, jockey Cristian Demuro moved Brametot off the rail and to the outside of the tightly bunched field. Be My Sheriff (Lawman) and Taj Mahal (Galileo) set the tempo with a somewhat rank Rivet (Fastnet Rock) and Prix Greffulhe winner Recoletos (Whipper) pressing the leaders.
Rounding the turn into the stretch, only Taj Mahal was keeping his position as the other leaders began to fade and the mid-pack horses began to make their bids, led by Recoletos and Olivier Peslier. War Decree came through from the rail to launch his attack along with the third O'Brien entry Orderofthegarter.
Two furlongs from the finish Waldgeist, from the middle of the fanned-out battle, and Brametot, from the outside, were moving fastest of all. Recoletos struck the front ahead of the steady Taj Mahal on the rail, but his advantage melted quickly in the furious heat of the pursuing Waldgeist and the even more determined Brametot, who won by a short head in 2:06.51 over the good/soft turf. Recoletos settled for third with Taj Mahal in fourth.
Brametot's victory was the second consecutive for Rouget who won last year's Derby with Almanzor (Wootton Bassett). The trainer also took the 2009 version with Le Havre (Noverre). For Demuro, it was the first.
The winner is from the first crop of Rajsaman (Linamix), who won four group races in France under the tutelage of Freddy Head before retiring to stud at Elisabeth Vidal's Haras de la Cauviniere. H. Cardemil bred Brametot in Ireland out of Morning Light, a Law Society half sister to the outstanding sire and racehorse Monsun.
Sylvain Vidal purchased the colt as a weanling for €26,000 ($31,941) at the 2014 Arqana's December breeding stock sale. Brametot originally raced for a partnership of Elisabeth Vidal and Augustin-Normand until Al Shaqab purchased a half-interest prior to the French Two Thousand Guineas.