French Trotting - Review of Critérium des 3 ans

Feature Race Review: G1 Critérium des 5 ans.

We look back at a brilliant battle in the G1 Critérium des 5 ans (3000m) which saw 38-year-old Benoît Robin record a first success at the highest level.

Date Sunday 18th August 2022
Venue Vincennes
Race R4 – G1 Critérium des 5 ans (3000m)
Type Driven for five-year-olds only 
Winner Hussard du Landret
Driver Benoît Robin
Trainer Benoît Robin
Breeding Bird Parker X Anakine Du Bellay
Second Hohneck
Third Happy Valley

Last Sunday saw the best five-year-old trotters do battle in the G1 Critérium des 5 ans (3000m) at Vincennes. A race billed for big things it almost certainly didn't disappoint.  

Victory went the way of the Benoit Robin-trained Hussard Du Landret as he narrowly prevailed over the brave and more fancied Hohneck. It was an inspired drive by the Grosbois based trainer who has said to have worked his horse at the local track prior to this event. After what looked a slightly messy start the pair managed to secure a brilliant position and were sat just off the leaders Hatchet Man and Hinden. Things looked to be going smoothly and Benoît Robin eased his horse out to challenge entering the back straight. From there it looked all heart, guts, and determination as Hussard du Landret battled tenaciously under an all-action drive. Once mastering Horsy Dream (who succumbed to a late disqualification) success looked almost inevitable, but the pair had to starve off one last challenge in the shape of race favourite Hohneck. It was a strong run down the outside of the eventual winner that Hohneck produced but ultimately it wasn't enough as the Philippe Allaire runner failed to reel in the leader close home. Happy Valley ran on bravely into third although never looked like reaching the front pair. 

Upon reflecting on the Group One prize Benoit Robin expressed his belief that running unshod for just the fifth time made the difference. Hussard du Landret is by the high-class Bird Parker who won the G1 Critérium des 4 ans back in 2015. The dam, Anakine Du Bellay never made it to the racetrack. 

It was a special day for Benoît Robin, 38, driver, trainer, and owner of Hussard du Landret as the son of Bird Parker ensured a first Group One success. For his breeder, Jean Joseph Daniel, it is also a first victory at the highest level and certainly one the pair will never forget.

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