Dunaden: Melbourne Cup hero will face four rivals at Chantilly on SundayPICTURE: AAP Racing
Dunaden deserves plenty of respect in Grand Prix
Preview: France, Sunday (4pm BST)
Chantilly: Grand Prix de Chantilly (Group 2) 1m4f, 4yo+
DUNADEN (Mikel Delzangles/Christophe Lemaire) is reunited with his Melbourne Cup-winning jockey after finishing third in the Qipco Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket last month.
"He ran a decent comeback and everything suggests he's come on since," said Delzangles.
Dunaden's Group 1 successes - he followed up his Flemington heroics with a win in the Hong Kong Vase over Sunday's trip - mean the six-year-old must concede 6lb to his rivals.
Behkabad just failed in a similar task in this race last year when going down narrowly to Silver Pond.
Former Derby hopeful Maxios (Jonathan Pease/Stephane Pasquier) boasts a similar profile to Silver Pond, having regained the winning thread in two starts this season after a troubled three-year-old campaign.
Allied Powers (Michael Bell/Ioritz Mendizabal)also went winless in 2011 but, after a confidence-boosting success in the Group 3 Prix d'Hedouville at Longchamp last month, attempts to repeat his victory in this race from two years ago.
Dance Moves (Andre Fabre/Maxime Guyon) was fourth in the Hedouville, having previously landed a Saint-Cloud conditions race.
Aiken has enjoyed a fine start to the season, winning the Investec Great Metropolitan Handicap and Newbury's Listed John Doyle Buckhound Stakes and trainer John Gosden said: "He's a progressive horse and would appreciate any rain. We have plenty of respect for the favourite."
Also on Sunday (4.35pm BST)
Chantilly: Prix du Gros Chene (Group 2) 5f, 3yo+
Beyond Desire (Roger Varian/Neil Callan) holds the distinction of being bith the trainer's only ever loser in France, as well as his second Group winner after finishing 14th in the Abbaye and then winning the Prix Saint-Georges last month.
"She doesn't need much work at home so she has just been ticking over nicely since her win at Longchamp," said Varian on his website. "She seems in as good a form as ever and I'm very hopeful that she'll run another solid race at that level."
Wizz Kid and Prohibit were separated by a head at the line in this last year and it would be no surprise to see both involved at the finish once more.
Wizz Kid (Robert Collet/Gerald Mosse) was sparingly campaigned after her success here, with her best effort coming when second to Deacon Blues at Ascot in October.
Prohibit (Robert Cowell/William Buick) enjoyed his greatest moment when landing the King's Stand on his next start following the Gros Chene last year.
The seven-year-old carries no Group 1 penalty but will be making his first start of the European season after running in Dubai.
Eton Rifles (Stuart Williams/William Carson) has also tasted success in France, having won the Listed Prix Contessina at Fontainebleau last November.
Drawn ideally in one, his trainer was nonetheless realistic about the task in hand.
"He's really a six or seven furlong horse but we have been struggling to find an easy surface for him at home," said Williams.
"A Group 2 over five furlongs is probably a bit out of our level but the owner is a sportsman and we are hoping to enjoy a decent weekend away."
Hamish McGonagall (Tim Easterby/David Allan) has come agonisingly close to Group success at home and in France, most notably when he finished second to Margot Did in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August.
Mar Adentro (Richard Chotard/Olivier Peslier) is as fast as anything in France on his day while Noble Hachy (Luigi Riccardi/Cristian Demuro) has a tall reputation in Italy.