CLASSIC FRENCH REOPENING WITH ANOTHER SUPERNAPS DOUBLE: Rubaiyat landed successive supernaps for Daqman at the Hoppegarten yesterday after his maximum stakes on Wonderful Moon in Cologne. The action now switches from Germany to a topnotch 10-race French reopening at Longchamp, in which he goes for a supernap double among these headlined selections on Classic-trials day:
🔹 ‘HAIL’ THE RETURN OF FRENCH RACING
🔹 FABRE FOR VICTORY IN GUINEAS TRIAL
🔹 HEAD FILLY COULD KHAY-O TROPBEAU
🔹 SOTTSASS ON ROAD BACK TO THE ARC
‘HAIL’ THE RETURN OF FRENCH RACING
⚠️ HEADS UP: Leading French trainers 2020: Jean-Claude Rouget 20, Christophe Escuder 19, F. Vermeulen 18, C. Ferland 17, Jerome Reynier 16, Frederic Rossi 14.
⚠️ HEADS UP: Leading French jockeys 2020: Pierre-Charles Boudot 38, Christophe Soumillon 35, Maxime Guyon 33, Cristian Demuro 24.
9.55 Longchamp (Prix Saint Georges) Frankie Dettori may well be missing out on a chunk of the 56,000-euro first prize, unable to partner his last year’s winner of this Group-3 sprint, Sestilio Jet, in a breakfast-time renewal.
Right now, if he were riding instead of his replacement, Alain Badel, he would be praying for worse than the good-to-soft ground forecast for this early-morning relaunch of racing in France. It was heavy for his mount to Jet in 12 months ago.
Frankie stuck with him for three more races, including beaten favourite at Chantilly but the nearest the five-year-old got to the winner was a length and a half down in a Listed, at San Siro in October under an Italian jockey. On heavy.
But how to oppose him when this is a repeat of last year’s race; not only the winner but the entire first four are running again.
Runner-up Batwan is uninspiring and also best on heavy; third, Ken Colt, has won since but on very soft ground; and the fourth, Gold Vibe (eight times second) is a ‘bridesmaid’, now aged seven.
Four-year-olds have won this three times in the last four seasons, so I checked out We Go, Morning Basma and Duhail before the coffee brewed.
But Duhail and We Go were second and third to Far Above at Deauville after that one had won a class-5 novice at Windsor, with the placed horses both beaten again at that level.
Morning Basma hasn’t been out of the first three in nine races since her debut but won only a three-runner race at Dieppe.
I ended up toasting the Andre Fabre runner, Duhail, at 4.7 on BETDAQ , as a potential improver, after a flood of money with bookmakers overnight.
FABRE FOR VICTORY IN GUINEAS TRIAL
11.55 Longchamp (Prix de Fontainebleau) The Lagardere family won this with their two great white hopes (sorry ‘grey’), Linamix in 1990 and his grandson Clodovil (2003), who still stands at Naas in Kildare.
Today the Fontainebleau has a hot favourite in Victor Ludorum, ready winner of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere here at Longchamp last October, run in memory of the former president of France Galop, who would have been delighted with the successful lobbying for this resumption of racing today.
The runner-up in October, Alson, franked the form with three wins wrapped around that defeat by Victor Ludorum.
The fourth and fifth in the Lagardere, Ecrivain and Helter Skelter, were not beaten far. They also make the form look good, having won four races between them before that day.
The market for the French 2,000 Guineas gives them little chance of reversing the placings with Victor Ludorum, who is around 15-8, with Alson and Helter Skelter 12-1 and Ecrivain 16.
So it will be a huge shock if ‘Victor’ – my supernap – is not the victor today for Andre Fabre and Mickael Barzalona.
HEAD FILLY COULD KHAY-O TROPBEAU
12.25 Longchamp (Prix de la Grotte) This is the fillies trial, which fields three French 1,000 hopes, the favourite for their Classic, Tropbeau, plus Khayzaraan and Dream And Do.
Tropbeau would complete a scoop of the trials today for the Fabre-Barzalona duo, and set them on course for a Classic double, back here on June 1.
That takes us neatly back to Clodovil in 2003, the last time Fabre landed both Guineas; his 1,000 winner that year was Musical Chimes.
Fabre won the Fontainebleau as the stepping stone to 2,000 success again last year with Persian King, one of eight 2,000 winners from his yard.
His 2011 Prix de la Grotte winner, Golden Lilac, won the 1,000 but that was only his third success in the fillies’ Classic in 30 years.
After a Deauville double last summer, Tropbeau ran third in the furlong-shorter Cheveley Park Stakes.
Freddie Head’s Khayzaraan (BETDAQ 2.75) has already scored twice over a mile. Looks progressive on form and on breeding (Kingman out of a Dubawi mare), whereas Tropbeau is sprint bred and has needed soft ground to show her best.
SOTTSASS ON ROAD BACK TO THE ARC
1.05 Longchamp (Prix d’Harcourt) The fourth Group race today (1m 2f for older horses) has gone to Andre Fabre 10 times.
His winning jockeys in the race have included Cash Asmussen, Steve Cauthen, Olivier Peslier and, right up to date in this century, Stephane Pasquier, Maxime Guyon and Mickael Barzalona, giving us a sort of who’s-who among riders who have benefitted in Fabre’s fabulous career.
He puts Barzalona up on Syrtis today, with Vincent Cheminaud on Folamour, whose form is only Listed level. Syrtis has been placed in Group 3 but his success was a Listed on heavy, though maybe the son of Frankel will appreciate a better surface.
Simona, placed in Derby trials last Spring, started the year well at a mile but also on heavy ground. The ratings have Sottsass on 123 and Shaman on 115.
Shaman raced five of his last six races in Group 1 and could be the danger to Sottsass, French Derby winner (1m 2f) on a sound surface and successful on good ground again when he won his Arc trial, the Niel.
But Arc day came up very soft. The five-year-olds, Waldgeist and Enable, had more guts and maturity to cope with the mud and Sottsass, then just three and with only half a dozen races on his CV, was beaten more than three lengths into third. Supernap stakes today .
9.55 Longchamp (win 20)
BET 5.5pts win DUHAIL
11.55 Longchamp (supernap)
BET 20pts win VICTOR LUDORUM
12.25 Longchamp (win 10)
BET 5.5pts win KHAYZARAAN
1.05 Longchamp (supernap)
BET 20pts win SOTTSASS
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