Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Sunday’s racing coming your way from the Longchamp.
Race 2 QATAR PRIX MARCEL BOUSSAC (Group 1)
No12 PRETTY GORGEOUS
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien – Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot
The weight of the Irish and UK challenge on this fillies’ only contest possibly tops that of the French, and PRETTY GORGEOUS jumps off the page as the one with the strongest credentials. Being by Lawman out of a mare by Compton Place means that testing ground holds no perils for her, as demonstrated with a convincing Group 2 Debutante Stakes triumph at the Curragh in August. Then, over the same course and distance, she ran Shale to threequarters of a length in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. Against that the Richard Fahey-trained FEV ROVER is on a hat-trick following her success in the Group 2 Prix du Calvados at Deauville. She also relishes dig in the ground, and can cause the selection most problems. LA JONCTION is an unbeaten Kingman filly that could prove the pick of the locals, with KING’S HARLEQUIN a value outsider
Race 5 PRIX DE L’OPERA LONGINES (Group 1)
No13 ALPINE STAR
Trainer: Jessica Harrington – Jockey: Shane Foley
Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine FANCY BLUE is carded to go off favourite on a big day for rookie trainer Donnacha O’Brien, and after finding the return to a mile against her in a Group 1 here last month should relish the return to a mile and a quarter.
TAWKEEL puts an impressive five race unbeaten record on the line for Jean-Claude Rouget after scoring in tenacious fashion in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary over today’s course and distance and then the Group 2 Prix de la Nonette at Deauville. She is going to be hard to stop but ALPINE STAR has arguably the better form, and appeals as one of the best bets on the card on a first outing since chasing home Palace Pier in the Prix Jacques Le Marois. The Niarchos Family-owned filly has just a short head to find with Fancy Blue from Chantilly, and I’m confident she can. She’s a dogged battler who finds extra under pressure. She digs deep when the chips are down, an asset that should serve her in good stead if she gets into a fight. The Aga Khan-owned
TARNAWA is another Irish raider to be considered. She is going to stay every yard of the trip and impressed with her attitude when landing the Prix Vermeille on Trials day three weeks ago.
Trainer: Francis Graffard – Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot
With Battaash an eleventh hour absentee this is wide open, with UK and Irish stables fielding six of the 11-strong field. Kevin Ryan’s GLASS SLIPPERS chased the shadow of that foe in the King George Stakes at Goodwood before grinding it out to thwart Keep Busy in a Curragh Group 1. She sets the standard for the others to aim at but a value play against her is WOODED. The Wootton Bassett colt has kept company with the best in a selective campaign, and showed his effectiveness for this unconventional track in the middle of the infield by getting to threequarters of a length of Air De Valse in a Group 3 last time. It will not necessarily take a Group 1 horse to take the spoils today.
Race 7 QATAR PRIX DE LA FORET (Group 1)
No8 ONE MASTER
Trainer: William Haggas – Jockey: Pierre-Charles Boudot
Key to this cracking contest is the meeting between SAFE VOYAGE and ONE MASTER in the Group 2 City Of York Stakes, when the former ran out a convincing three and a half lengths victor. He went on to follow-up in a Leopardstown Group 2 when stretching out to a mile, and will almost certainly be happier back at seven here. One Master looked most unfortunate to be short-headed by Wichita in the Group 2 Park Stakes at Doncaster and importantly gets the deep underfoot conditions she craves for. The six-year-old is a 3 to 4 lbs better operator in the soft, and with a strong pace not ruled out is the one that will be finishing the strongest. Reflecting on this race 12 months ago, it was Boudot in the plate as she outstayed City Light.
EARTHLIGHT has been beaten just once in five starts and is afforded enormous respect as he’s a dual Group 1 winner in the hands of a master tutor in Andre Fabre.
However, he had to fight for the spoils in a Group 3 last time and could be vulnerable to the older horses.
Aidan O’Brien’s LOPE Y FERNANDEZ is a roughie that could earn, and was not disgraced in the Haydock Sprint Cup last time. His best form is arguably at today’s trip.
Prediction: 1st ONE MASTER, 2nd Earthlight, 3rd Safe Voyage, 4th Lope Y Fernande
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