Pensee Du Jour puts her unbeaten record and lofty reputation on the line when she contests Sunday’s Prix de Diane at Chantilly.
The daughter of Camelot made it three from three when winning the Prix Penelope with supreme ease at Saint-Cloud in April and having won by a combined 13 and a half lengths in her outings so far, will now bid to give trainer Andre Fabre a fifth win in the fillies’ Classic.
Owned by Ballymore Thoroughbreds, for whom Fabre trained Miss France to win the 1000 Guineas in 2014 and also guided Persian King to a trio of Group One victories, connections are hopeful Pensee Du Jour will continue her progressive ways following a short break.
“She was a backwards filly last year and Andre thought he could win some black type early on this year,” said Anthony Stroud, racing manager for Ballymore.
“Then she developed and developed and she won three races. After she won those races we thought we would give her a bit of time, as she had run in those races quite quickly.
“I thought she won nicely and in a progressive way (in the Prix Penelope). She has had to make the running in her three races and it would be nice if she didn’t. She’s also had three different jockeys on, so it will be nice that she will have a bit of consistency next time.”
Pensee Du Jour’s potential rivals include Oaks winner Soul Sister and Poule d’Essai des Pouliches victor Blue Rose Cen at this stage, with Stroud admitting he would like some rain in the coming days as her previous wins have come with cut in the ground.
“I would hope she will handle the ground OK, but I would love to see a thunderstorm come along,” continued Stroud.
“I would like there to be some sort of rainfall. She’s never run on this ground but we know she goes with a bit of ease in the ground, so I would like a thunderstorm to appear.”
If Sunday’s Classic mission proves successful, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe could prove an enticing proposition later in the year considering Fabre’s impeccable record in Europe’s richest middle-distance contest and the filly’s proven attributes on soft ground.
Although preferring to focus on matters closer to hand, Stroud is allowing himself to briefly dream about such races later in the season, with him envisaging Pensee Du Jour’s future lying over further.
He added: “I could see her going up to a mile and a half down the line and I think as time goes on, she will get better as she is quite a physically big filly. But it’s not often you have a filly that has won all three of her races and she deserves her chance to take part in this race.
“I think the Arc would be a wonderful dream, but we have to take it step by step and this weekend coming is the next step.
“I’m sure she will have a break and we will see how she is and then we will be advised by Andre. Of course there is the Prix Vermeille and the Arc, but I think it is important to not get ahead of ourselves, get Sunday out of the way and go from there. But it’s good to have dreams.”
A total of 18 fillies remain in contention for the race, with Running Lion, who was withdrawn at the start at Epsom, standing her ground along with the likes of Oaks fourth Caernarfon, Never Ending Story, Jannah Rose and Left Sea.