Morphettville Parks: Talented filly En Francais keeping the Alcopop connection alive

Jake Stephens sadly said goodbye to his best ever horse earlier this year with passing of Alcopop but a close relation to his former star is set to ensure the fairytale can continue.

Stephens will travel to Morphettville on Saturday to saddle up one of the most promising horses on the program with unbeaten filly En Francais set to make her city debut.

En Francais is owned by Stephens with most of the same connections that enjoyed a fairytale ride with Alcopop not so long ago.

The run included running sixth in a Melbourne Cup in 2009, finishing runner-up in a Caulfield Cup in 2012 and winning the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes later that year.

Unfortunately Alcopop, one of the state’s best and most popular gallopers in recent times, passed away at the end of March following a battle with illness.

It wasn’t long after that En Francais made her debut and the daughter of Puissance De Lune produced a slashing debut performance to score by a widening 3¾ lengths at Gawler on Anzac Day.

This eye-catching debut at Gawler has En Francais' connections 'assessing all options', including a trip to Queensland for their Winter Carnival ๐Ÿ‘€

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En Francais is out of Stephens’ former race mare Detox, which shares the same mother as Alcopop in the broodmare Iota Of Luck.

“We own the bulk of her and bred her and it’s mostly the owners that were involved in Alcopop that are in her so it’s exciting,” Stephens said.

“We were confident she would run well (at her first start) and a few of the owners had a bit on her. It was good.”

It’s been more than a month since her debut win and En Francais continued to impress around Stephens’ Victor Harbor yard.

She will finally make her much-anticipated return in the Dominant Benchmark 60 Handicap (1550m) at Morphettville on the Parks track.

Todd Pannell on En Francais after her debut win. Picture: Brenton EdwardsSource:News Corp Australia

“We would probably have preferred it being 1400m second-up but they will probably go a bit slower over the 1550m and it should be good for her education wise,” Stephens said.

“We will keep her over those middle distance trips this preparation.

“She will definitely run well but it‘s definitely not her best trip.

“She is a pretty fit and hard, natural staying type and sometimes those runs over 1200m can take it out them.

“With that said, I am confident she will run well.”

En Francais has been installed as a $2.20 favourite to continue on winning ways at her second start with Todd Pannell set to take over the riding duties.

Stephens is confident whatever his lightly-raced filly produces on the weekend her best is yet to come.

He believes En Francais has black-type potential and the filly had been among the early nominations for the Queensland Oaks but ran out of time to get the filly to the feature.

“Everything was getting a bit too late,” Stephens said.

“She took a bit of bark off and we needed some time to get her right.

“We will see what she does on Saturday whether we take her to Melbourne now but I don‘t want to tip her out because she is going so good.

“I think we will try to get some prizemoney against her own age while we can.”

Originally published asTalented filly keeps Alcopop connection alive

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