Andre Fabre: could send Ocovango to Epsom for the DerbyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Fabre plots Pour Moi route for Ocovango
Preview: France, Saturday (5.55pm BST)
Saint-Cloud: Prix Greffulhe (Group 2) 1m2f, 3yo colts & fillies
THE ADAGE that, any trainer who thinks he has four Derby horses probably has none, might not appeal to a man as determined to rewrite the record books as Andre Fabre.
The likes of Triple Threat, Sky Hunter and Tableaux have been rolling-up the early season tests on the road to the Prix du Jockey Club and Fabre may have difficulty keeping them all apart between now and the first Sunday in June.
But among what is undoubtedly a fine crop of middle distance prospects in his care, Ocovango (Pierre-Charles Boudot) may be aimed at an even more famous prize run 24 hours earlier, the Investec Derby.
First the unbeaten Monsun colt must prove himself in a race which opened the way to Epsom glory for Pour Moi two years ago.
Fabre has more than one line of form to draw upon in assessing what the market is likely to make Ocovango's chief rival, Bravodino (Jonathan Pease/Stephane Pasquier).
Two and a half lengths separated the pair when they made their debuts at Saint-Cloud last November.
Bravodino then shed his maiden in taking style at the track last month, with the future Prix Noailles winner Tableaux back in third.
Wire To Wire (Jean-Claude Rouget/Christophe Soumillon) graduated from the provinces to land the Listed Prix Omnium here six weeks ago.
The Observatory colt has never raced at further than a mile and it is interesting that Rouget has opted for this route rather than wait for the Poule d'Essai des Poulains in eight days time.
Superplex (Michael Figge/Ioritz Mendizabal) popped up at odds of 29-1 when making all in a Longchamp conditions race but should not be underestimated, as his trainer plots a course to the French and then German Derbies.
Ivan Grozny (Daniel Rabhi/Franck Blondel) made the running in the Prix La Force won by Triple Threat and could once again go on if Superplex is ridden with more restraint.
The balance of his form doesn't look quite up to that of his rivals.
What They Say
Jean-Claude Rouget, trainer of Wire To Wire
"The colt is well but this is a hot bunch. He's trying the trip for the first time and I hope we don't end up watching a falsely run race."
Ted Voute, bloodstock advisor to Prince Faisal, owner of Ocovango
"Tomorrow is a Group 2 and it's really the time he has to start proving himself. He's very well entered everywhere and as far as Epsom is concerned we'd all discuss it in light of how he performs. Ultimately it will depend on whether Andre Fabre wants to go that route with him. I know they like Bravodino and he's a pretty big threat."
Alan Cooper, racing manager to the Niarchos Family, owners of Bravodino
"Bravodino was 2½ lengths second to Ocovango. He's wintered very well before winning very comfortably on his reappearance and he seems progressive.We're hoping for a good regular pace the same as everybody I suspect. He's in at Epsom, he's in at Chantilly and he's also in the Irish Derby so he's a horse we like, so let's see how he runs tomorrow."
Michael Figge, trainer of Superplex
"He's had quite an easy time of it in training since Longchamp. I thought he'd need that race because we had a harsh winter in Munich but, he showed that he was tough as well as having plenty of speed. He doesn't like to be among horses so it's a question of whether we lead or sit last - I'll leave that up to Ioritz."