When The Going Gets Soft For Poules Day In Paris

   As it was at Newmarket, ParisLongchamp’s ground is going to take some getting through for the protagonists in Sunday’s G1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains and G1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and it is safe to say that appreciation of give underfoot is essential.

That applies to several of the star colts and fillies lining up for the first domestic Classics and it is certain to be no worse than the testing going that Isaac Shelby (GB) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) had to deal with at Newbury last time. Leading home the riderless Chaldean (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in his last race in the Sangster silks in the seven-furlong G3 Greenham S., Wathnan Racing’s acquisition was adding to his fast-ground G2 Superlative S. success as a juvenile, so versatility is assured.

Brian Meehan has spent a while in the Classic wilderness and this is a key moment for the Manton-based trainer who last enjoyed Group 1 success 11 years ago. “He has been working great,” he said. “The Guineas was a nice form boost in a funny sort of way. I know they are saying it will be heavy ground, but it doesn’t really matter what sort of ground we get–we are going to get whatever we get. The thing is, he is there on good-to-firm and soft, so we’ll take our chance.”

Flying The Flag

France’s defence of the Poulains may rest with Malcolm Parrish’s American Flag (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), who beat the re-opposing Kendly (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}) in convincing fashion in the Listed Prix Omnium II at Saint-Cloud in March before following up in the course-and-distance G3 Prix de Fontainebleau last month. That form has taken a knock subsequently and there is no telling at the moment how good Yann Barberot’s stable star is. “The horse is in great shape,” his trainer said. “He appreciates the very soft terrain and he has a very good mentality. He knows Longchamp and I am confident for Sunday.”

Good Knight?

Trailing Isaac Shelby in the Greenham, KHK Racing’s TDN Rising Star Knight (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) has to rebound with the form of his G3 Horris Hill S. now also looking to have more holes in it than at the start of the season. Whether the deep promise of his Yarmouth debut can be fulfilled is the burning question for Simon and Ed Crisford. “I don’t know what happened at Newbury to be honest, but the horse has bounced out of the Greenham,” Ed Crisford said. “He just didn’t go a yard and there’s nothing much to say about that other than it was very disappointing. He seems to have come alive and come on for that race, so he’s going to France and hopefully he can run a big race albeit he has to prove it now.”

Anybody’s Guess

On the face of it, Hisaaki Saito’s Good Guess (GB) (Kodiac {GB})) has something to find even allowing for his G3 Prix Djebel success from TDN Rising Star Breizh Sky (Fr) (Pedro The Great) and Fabrice Chappet would not have been heartened by the draw in eight. What effect that post position will have this year, with only 10 runners, remains to be seen and Breizh Sky is even wider in the outside stall. Alain Jathiere’s colour-bearer is beginning to look a habitual “nearly horse” and he needs a strong pace to run at, which is not guaranteed here.

Trainer Alessandro Botti is clinging on to hope that things will fall right for Breizh Sky at some point. “The forecast very soft ground shouldn’t be a problem for him, as he finished third in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere when there was plenty of give,” he said. “His comeback effort in the Prix Djebel was quite good, but the race was devoid of pace and things panned out perfectly for Good Guess.”

An Unfolding Story

When Never Ending Story (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) encountered Blue Rose Cen (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) in the course-and-distance G1 Prix Marcel Boussac, it was Yeguada Centurion SL’s homebred who held the bragging rights but there was something in the seasonal return of Ballydoyle’s blueblood that suggested it would be a lot closer as they re-engage in the Pouliches. Overwhelming the subsequent 1000 Guineas third Matilda Picotte (Ire) (Sioux Nation) and G3 Cournelsourt S. scorer Zarinsk (GB) (Kodiac {GB}) in Leopardstown’s G3 Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial S., the descendant of Urban Sea (Miswaki) will be a different proposition for Christopher Head’s stable luminary to handle this time.

Looking Out For Lindy

Surrendering her unbeaten record to Blue Rose Cen in the G3 Prix de la Grotte over this course and distance last month, Everest Racing, Ecurie Waldeck and Meridian International’s Lindy (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) hails from a family of soft-ground lovers and trainer Christophe Ferland is keen to have another go at the favourite. “Since her debut, Lindy has done nothing but improve,” he said. “She had a good winter and her comeback effort in the Prix de la Grotte was very good. She is very easy to handle and I harbour no worries about her ability to act over course and distance. She is a daughter of Le Havre and so I don’t feel that the ground will be a hindrance to her. Depending on how she fares on Sunday, I hope to run her in the Prix de Diane. I have even entered her in the Arc, because I think that in time and given greater maturity that longer trips will be within her compass.”

Can Kelina Rebound?

It seems a long time ago that the Wertheimers’ TDN Rising Star Kelina (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) was favourite for the Marcel Boussac and although she was last in that contest put up a fine comeback effort behind Quickstep (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in the course-and-distance Prix du Louvre conditions race last month. From the family of Dansili’s Group 1 winners With You (GB) and We Are (Ire) and Frankel‘s Call The Wind (GB), the Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained homebred will be staying on when some have cried enough.

Jannah Rose Poised For Saint-Alary Test

Frankel might already have had a big afternoon by the time the G1 St Mark’s Basilica Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary comes around, where his unbeaten daughter Jannah Rose (Ire) will be a warm order to build on her quietly-dominant display in the nine-furlong G3 Prix Vanteaux here last month. Al Shira’aa Farms’ €650,000 Goffs Orby sensation is developing a formidable reputation which will be put to the test here by some talented fillies including Ballydoyle’s Boogie Woogie (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). A daughter of the Irish Oaks heroine Seventh Heaven (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), she came up against the stable’s kingpin Savethelastdance (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at Leopardstown two starts back when the pick of Ryan Moore which gives an indication as to the regard in which she is held. There will be some surprised people if Elusive Princess (Fr) (Martinborough {Jpn}) can’t reverse the form of the G3 Prix Cleopatre with Crown Princesse (Fr) (Zarak {Fr}), with LNJ Foxwoods purchasing a half-share in the former after her luckless run. Both have been supplemented, but both have to raise their game to reward that decision.

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