The lead-up to the 2020 edition witnessed a surprising late development, as Aidan O’Brien withdrew all four of his intended runners due to an issue with contaminated feed. That saw the field of 15 whittled down to 11 but, despite that blow for the foreign raiders, the market still expected the prize to be leaving French soil. 2017 and 2018 heroine Enable lined up for John Gosden once again and started as the odds-on favourite in her bid to become the first horse to win the race three times. John Gosden was, in fact, the only British or Irish trainer represented in the race, with his star stayer, Stradivarius second favourite behind his stablemate.
The only other overseas runner was the Japanese mare, Deirdre. Prix du Moulin winner, Persian King, was rated the best of the home team but needed to prove that he stayed this trip. Jean-Claude Rouget’s Sottsass was more proven in the conditions, having finished third in 2019, whilst In Swoop had caught the eye of many with a fast-finishing second in the Grand Prix de Paris.
- 1st – Sottsass 73/10, Jockey: Cristian Demuro, Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget
- 2nd – In Swoop 10/1, Jockey: Ronan Thomas, Trainer: Francis-Henri Graffard
- 3rd – Persian King 63/10, Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot, Trainer: Andre Fabre
Prize Money Breakdown
- 1st – £1,632,847.46
- 2nd – £653,253.39
- 3rd – £326,626.27
- 4th – £163,170.34
- 5th – £81,727.97
Despite having the most questions to answer over the distance, it was Persian King who pulled his way into an early lead, with Sottsass pushed up by Cristian Demuro to grab a nice early position towards the inside rail. Stradivarius was prominent towards the outside of the pack, with Enable covered up in the centre of the pack.
It was to Persian King’s advantage that the race didn’t become a stamina-sapping affair. As such, it was no surprise to see Pierre-Charles Boudot setting a sedate early pace. With no rival emerging to threaten him for the lead, it soon became clear that the emphasis would be on finishing speed.
No real change in the order as they moved out of the false straight and into the home straight. Outsider, Chachnak, was the first to challenge Persian King but quickly dropped away. Enable and Stradivarius attempted to launch their efforts down the outside, but neither could find the required gears on the day. The best turn of foot belonged to Sottsass, who quickly moved a length clear of Persian King, and ultimately held on by a neck from In Swoop, who rattled home late up the rail.
A disappointing end to Enable’s attempt at making history, in what turned out to be an excellent race for France, with the home nation sending out the first five home. It saw a first success in the race for both Jean-Claude Rouget and Cristian Demuro.
- 1. Persian King – SP: 63/10, Trainer: Andre Fabre, Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot
- 2. Royal Julius – SP: 103/1, Trainer: Jerome Reynier, Jockey: Shane Foley
- 3. Way To Paris – SP: 46/1, Trainer: Andrea Marcialis, Jockey: Ioritz Mendizabal
- 4. Japan – Non-Runner
- 5. Sovereign – Non-runner
- 6. Stradivarius – SP: 54/10, Trainer: John Gosden, Jockey: Olivier Peslier
- 7. Sottsass – SP: 73/10, Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget, Jockey: Cristian Demuro
- 8. Enable – SP: 9/10F, Trainer: John Gosden, Jockey: Frankie Dettori
- 9. Deirdre – SP: 79/1, Trainer: Mitsuru Hashida, Jockey: Jamie Spencer
- 10. Gold Trip – SP: 33/1, Trainer: Fabrice Chappet, Jockey: Stephane Pasquier
- 11. Chachnak – SP: 81/1, Trainer: Fabrice Vermeulen, Jockey: Tony Piccone
- 12. In Swoop – SP: 10/1, Trainer: Francis-Henri Graffard, Jockey: Ronan Thomas
- 13. Mogul – Non-runner
- 14. Serpentine – Non-runner
- 15. Raabihah – SP: 13/1, Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget, Jockey: Maxime Guyon
Japan, Mogul, Serpentine, Sovereign (all contaminated feed)