Brits shine in Prix Robert Papin as Ventura Tormenta Stuns The Lir Jet

Richard Hannon

The Lir Jet was unable to back up his Royal Ascot success when losing his unbeaten record in the Prix Robert Papin, downed at odds-on by Ventura Tormenta. 

British raiders dominate

It was just the four runners for the Prix Robert Papin, a disappointing turnout for a Group 2 contest worth over £40,000. The betting was unsurprisingly dominated by Michael Bell’s The Lir Jet, who was unbeaten heading into the contest. Winning his debut readily, he was a fantastic winner of the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, backing into 2/5 to extend his unbeaten record at Chantilly.

He was unable to do so, however, as the other British contender, Richard Hannon’s Ventura Tormenta, went on to land the spoils by the narrowest of margins. The Lir Jet was third throughout the contest and made his move to edge ahead in the final two-hundred meters.

He didn’t show the customary turn of foot we’d seen in two runs prior, however, as he was unable to extend his advantage in the closing stages, losing out on the bob in disappointing fashion.

Fine margins

Flying home to victory for his two prior successes, it was disappointing to see the exciting colt unable to sustain his challenge in the closing stages. Reflecting on the race, his trainer Michael Bell said: “Oisin said he wasn’t feeling in quite the same form of Ascot but with a bit more luck we’d have still won as he was in front just before and just after.

The Lir Jet looked to be in front in the dying strides but was unluckily edged out on the bob, adding to the frustration for Bell as he added: “It’s just annoying as either side of the post he’s won, but he clearly hasn’t ran quite as well as he did at Ascot. We’ll go back and reflect but it’s hard to know“.

A turnaround of six-length proportions

Six lengths was the gap that The Lir Jet defeated a debuting Ventura Tormenta at Royal Ascot in the Norfolk Stakes, with Richard Hannon’s charge winning at Yarmouth subsequently in ready fashion. Seven furlongs were clearly to blame for a subsequent Group 2 defeat at Newmarket, as the son of Acclamation has bounced back in no uncertain terms back at the sprinting distances.

There could be plenty of exciting days ahead for connections, because as disappointing as The Lir Jet was in relation to his price, there really wasn’t any fluke about Ventura Tormenta’s gutsy effort. He remains totally unexposed and could be back to France later in the year, with the Prix Morny one of many potential targets for Middleham Park’s exciting sprinter.

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