Rouget Lines Up Turf Stars In Paris

ParisLongchamp stages a fascinating card on Sunday as the 2023 campaign moves onwards, with the G2 Prix d’Harcourt featuring a Group 1 winner in Bertrand Milliere’s Prix Royal-Oak hero Iresine (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}). Saddled with a four-pound penalty for his triumph in the marathon test here in October, he has his work cut out dealing with genuine mile-and-a-half performers like Haras de la Perelle and Stephane Wattel’s G2 Prix Niel winner Simca Mille (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}) and Al Shaqab Racing’s G2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano scorer Al Hakeem (GB) (Siyouni {Fr}), who closed out his 3-year-old term with a 2 1/2-lengths fourth in the Arc. Al Hakeem is one of Rouget’s more talented representatives and while he has some ground to make up on the stable’s Vadeni (Fr) (Churchill {Ire}), it is not a great deal and he is open to big improvement at four.

A Burgeoning Force?

In the nine-furlong G3 Prix la Force, it is the first reckoning of Rouget’s TDN Rising Star Padishakh (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) who is untried in black-type company but who looked every bit up to scratch in two conditions races here and at Chantilly in September and October. Nurlan Bizakov’s big French hope has his initial encounter with a Ballydoyle runner as the stable continues to spread out its Classic hopefuls. Greenland (Ire) (Saxon Warrior {Jpn}) is the one here and he is rated considerably better than the bare form of his last-of-four effort in the G2 Royal Lodge S. at Newmarket in September. Rouget’s telling time continues in the G3 Prix Vanteaux over the same trip, where Ecurie Billon’s Around Midnight (Fr) (Almanzor {Fr}) re-opposes Sea The Lady (Fr) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) having beaten her in the Listed Criterium de l’Ouest at Craon in September before finishing runner-up in Deauville’s G3 Prix des Reservoirs the following month. One of the dark ones is Al Shira’aa Farms’ Chantilly maiden winner Jannah Rose (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), a Carlos Laffon-Parias trainee who is a half to the highly progressive mare Creggs Pipes (Ire) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}).

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