The Umm Qarn-bred and HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani-owned FRENCH KING (French Fifteen) won the Group 2 Carl Jaspers-Preis in Köln, Germany, on Sunday, 5 May 2019. With this victory under his belt, French King has become the first Umm Qarn-bred horse to take home a Group success for thoroughbreds in Europe.
Ridden by French jockey Olivier Peslier, French King easily got catch the leader Be My Sheriff (Lawman) and kicked clear, leaving his rivals behind in the last 300m of the 2400m run for four-year-old and older thoroughbreds. The Henri-Alex Pantall-saddled colt landed the spoils with three quarters of a length to spare in front of Be My Sheriff.
Windstoss (Shirocco), winner of the 2017 Gr 1 German Derby, completed the frame.
French King was the winner of the 2019 HH The Amir Trophy (QR Gr1) at QREC Al Rayyan Park, Doha in February. It was also Peslier who steered him to victory that day.
“He is a different horse this year than last year”, said Pantall on Sunday, “His race in Qatar did him good. Before this race I hesitated with the Prix d’Hédouville (Gr3). I kind of feared the long straight lines and that’s why I chose to race in Köln. He really dominated his subject here and he can still progress. I think he can go and take on some good Group races in France, and why not, climb to Gr1 level one day.”