The final horse in this series is Double Major. He is already a Group 1 winner after he dominated the Prix Royal-Oak in late October, but because he won that race and not one of the more glamorous races run on Arc Weekend instead, I don’t feel that he has quite got the credit that he deserves. He is a son of the multiple Japanese Group 1 winner Daiwa Major, who has produced the likes of Serifos, Admire Mars and Resistencia in his native Japan, but is perhaps less well known in European circles. His progeny stay very well and he has certainly gifted his stamina to Double Major, who has improved with each start as he has stepped up in trip. His aggressive front-running style makes him ideally suited to French Racing, particularly over the longer trips, where the races are often run at a steady early gallop and it can pay to side with a horse that will be ridden prominently, but there is more to Double Major than that. He has dominated these races, winning with an ease that would suggest it was more his ability and not a cute front-running ride that has got the job done. He ran the final 3-furlongs of the Prix Chaudenay in 33.92-seconds, which would be a fair set of figures for the milers, and which proved that when he needs it, there is a decent turn-of-foot there to go with his stamina.
Having made his debut for Christophe Ferland on the All-Weather in March of this year, he went on to run 9 times, winning 4 of them and finishing 2nd a further 4 times too. Improving with each start, he has quickly risen to a rating of 53.5-kilos, the equivalent of 117 on the BHA scale, but I think it is highly plausible that there could be even more to come. Although his best form has come in the Prix Chaudenay and the Prix Royal-Oak, he did have enough speed to beat the likes of Divin Propos and Birr Castle, both Pattern performers, over shorter distances earlier in the Spring. We know that he stays well and so the obvious race to try to build his season around would be the Prix du Cadran on Arc weekend, but I would hope that his connections may yet have some loftier ambitions before we get there, with a drop back to 12-furlongs still looking a possibility, races like the Grand-Prix de Saint-Cloud or a trip to Royal Ascot should still be on their radar. It’s a big “If” but were he to win a Group 1 at that shorter trip it would open up more options for him. We should remember that he is a gelding, so there is no possibility of him developing into an Arc de Triomphe horse, but that is only 1 race and there are plenty of other options for him in 2024.