When the first four letters of a horse’s name are PHAR, it’s bound to catch the eye. Such was the case with Pharrell, who his new owners can dream will be as good at the other Phar that raced almost 90 years ago.
Pharrell attracted our attention last year when as a late 2yo, he strung together three wins at distances between 1600m and 2000m. After then winning the G3 Prix Noailles over 2100m in his first start as a 3yo, a purchase was off the table. Installed as one of the favourites for the Prix Jockey Club (French Derby), his owner had no wish to sell. (Coincidently, the Prix Noailles was the first race won by Gailo Chop following his acquisition by OTI.)
A wish by the owner to bypass the Jockey Club in favour of a possible Arc campaign saw the colt go to the G3 2400m Prix Hocquart in mid-June. After leading, he raced ungenerously to finish 4th just behind the placegetters. With the help of our French agents and an undertaking to his trainer Jean Claude Rouget that he could retain the colt, we were able to complete a purchase.
As a son of Manduro, the sire of French champion Vasirabad, Pharrell has the breeding credentials to race from 2000m upwards. His trainer believes that, at this stage of his maturity, 2000m is his best distance. As a result, his first race start for his new owners will be the G2 Prix Guillaume D’Ornano over 2000m at Deauville on August 15. (The Guillaume D’Ornano was another race won by our Gailo).
Who knows – a win in Deauville may earn our flashy chestnut an invitation to the Cox Plate and give him the chance to emulate one of the great Phar Lap’s feats!