Solid Oak

Having ticked an all-important box when capturing the G1 Prix du Cadran, His Highness The Aga Khan’s near-flawless stayer Vazirabad (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}) makes his history attempt on Sunday as he bids for an unprecedented third edition of the G1 Prix Royal-Oak at Saint-Cloud. While he was far from dominant when taking his first Cadran at Chantilly on Sept. 30, the homebred has always reserved his best for this race and looks hard to oppose as he enters the latest renewal off four straight pattern-race wins.

If there is one to put up a valid fight it could be the unexposed Juddmonte 3-year-old colt Ice Breeze (GB) (Nayef), who appeared to relish a step up to this trip when winning an above-average renewal of the G2 Prix Chaudenay on the Cadran undercard. He had previously beaten Vazirabad’s G1 Grand Prix de Paris-winning stablemate Shakeel (Fr) (Dalakhani {Ire}) in the G2 Prix Hocquart over a mile and a half also at Chantilly on June 18 and possesses the kind of middle-distance speed that can make a difference in these races. Others who could pose a threat are Gestut Auenquelle’s Sept. 17 G3 Deutsches St Leger winner Oriental Eagle (Ger) (Campanologist) and Godolphin’s June 4 G3 Prix de Royaumont scorer Kitesurf (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who is raised markedly in trip by Andre Fabre after a latest third in the 12-furlong G2 Prix de Royallieu at Chantilly on Sept. 30.

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