Native American has the chance to emulate some illustrious names when he steps up in class for the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
Richard Fahey’s unbeaten youngster has only been seen twice so far, but has barely put a foot wrong when striding out onto the racecourse, winning with supreme ease on debut before landing a valuable Curragh prize in taking style 21 days ago.
He will now be tested at the highest level for the first time, 13 years after Fahey saddled Wootton Bassett to surge to victory in the seven-furlong Group One.
“It’s a good race and he needs to step up, but we’re pleased with him,” said Fahey.
“He’s a horse I could see improving a lot for his win the other day, but he will need to. I think he’s the lowest-rated horse in the race, but we’re very happy with him, we’re looking forward to it.”
Wootton Bassett headed to the French capital with four runs under his belt, whereas Native American is still at the formative stages of his career.
However, Malton-based Fahey does see similarities between the pair and believes the son of Sioux Nation will be an even better prospect next season.
He added: “They would be similar horses and both undefeated going there. I think Wootton Bassett had won four before going there. He was slightly more experienced, but this horse will have improved a lot now.
“He’s going to be a better three-year-old than two-year-old, but we’ve been really pleased with him since the Curragh.”
Native American is owned by the Qatar-based Wathnan racing who are also represented in the race by Adrian Keatley’s Ballymount Boy.
Second in both the Richmond Stakes and Acomb Stakes since opening his account at Hamilton, his handler believes he is fully primed to make his presence felt in Paris.
“He deserves to take his place in the field and we’ve been happy with him at home,” said Keatley.
“He’s had a nice bit of time between this and his last run, he is in great form and we’re happy with him.
“We feel this could be his turn to get his head in front. Hopefully it will be on Sunday and these are the places you want to be.”
Richard Hannon’s Rosallion saw his bubble burst in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, but Richard Hannon is hoping the prospect of better ground on the Bois de Boulogne can see his charge return to the form of his destructive earlier outings.
“It looks like it’s going to be fast ground out there which will be much more to his liking,” said Hannon.
“We were very disappointed at Doncaster and we hope he is going to show what he can really do.
“They went very slow at Doncaster and he just didn’t look like the horse we saw at Ascot or we’ve seen at home, so hopefully we will see him in a much better light.”
Another hoping to show off his star potential is Brian Meehan’s Jayarebe who looked to possess a real touch of class when scoring at Newmarket on debut and is now thrown straight in at the deep end by trainer Brian Meehan.
He said: “I think he’s really smart and he’s came out of his last race really well.
“His work has been good and he does things really easily. I thought it was a good performance at Newmarket and he beat some really nice horses.
“He could have gone to the Royal Lodge, but I figured we would go straight to a Group One.”
With Meehan’s go-to pilot Sean Levey needed to partner Rosallion, the Manton handler has called upon an old ally and weighing-room great in Frankie Dettori to do the steering aboard Jayarebe.
“We’re good friends and he’s ridden a lot of good winners for me over the years,” added the trainer.
“We’re always really selective over what Frankie rides. Sean wasn’t free so it was ideal to have Frankie.”
French hopes are carried by Yann Barberot’s unbeaten Beauvatier who brought up a four-timer when downing Andre Fabre’s reopposing Evade in the Prix la Rochette, while Francis-Henri Graffard’s Zabiari is another with smart course form to his name.
Aidan O’Brien is no stranger to success in this and saddles both Henry Adams and Unquestionable, who is the choice of Ryan Moore.
The latter has solely campaigned at six furlongs, but after brave performances in defeat, is now upped in trip.
“He ran at the Curragh last time over six furlongs, he hasn’t stepped up to seven yet,” said O’Brien.
“We think it’s going to suit him, stepping up to seven, and he’s been in good form since then.”
O’Brien also has a strong hand in the other two-year-old contest on the card, the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac, where he saddles Opera Singer.
The Ballydoyle handler has won this event four times in the past and could become the joint-most successful trainer in the race if his talented daughter of Justify backs up her ruthless display on the Curragh recently when winning a Group Three by six and a half lengths.
O’Brien said: “She won a Group race at the Curragh last time over a mile, we think this race will really suit her. She’s a Justify filly and we’re really happy with her since.”
Karl Burke’s Darnation arrives with a growing reputation having claimed both the Prestige Stakes and May Hill Stakes in the manner of a top-class operator, while Frankie Dettori will don famous silks when he gets the leg-up aboard Meehan’s recent Sandown scorer Extraordinaire.
“She will appreciate the mile at Longchamp on Sunday and the ground should be nice for as well,” said her trainer.
“She’s a really nice filly who did well at Sandown last time and the form is working out well.”