Hannon and Meehan seek Chantilly reward
Preview: France, Saturday (4.50pm)
Chantilly: Prix Paul de Moussac (Group 3) 1m, 3yo colts & geldings
FACED with a paucity of group action in Britain on Saturday both Richard Hannon and Brian Meehan have sought out what looks a hot running of this trial for the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat.
Hannon saddles Coupe De Ville (Olivier Peslier), who outran his odds to finish fifth to Camelot in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, before being edged out of the money in a blanket finish for the Poule d'Essai des Poulains.
Meehan's representative Archbishop (Davy Bonilla) is yet to try such illustrious company, having just been touched off by Rewarded at Newmarket last time.
That said the American-bred colt was thought highly enough of to defend his stable's enviable record in the Acomb at York on his second and final start at two.
Malossol (Giusseppe Botti/Ioritz Mendizabal) is already a Classic winner after taking the Italian version of the Guineas and has been kept fresh for this target since.
Hippolyte (Tony Clout/Flavien Prat) confirmed the promise of his two-year-old career when defying a nightmare passage to bolt up in his re-appearance over course and distance last month.
The gelded son of Gold Away tries Group company for the first time but has done precious little wrong in winning three of his five starts to date.
The only unbeaten record in the field belongs to Mustaheel (Francois Rohaut/Francois-Xavier Bertras).
Whilst the form of his three-quarter length win over Sir Jade in a Listed race at Maisons-Laffitte might look a little sub-par for a contest of this nature, it can be marked up for the fact that the front two finished a long way clear of the rest.
On top of that Mustaheel survived a near-miss with a cat entering the closing stages.
Not so fortunate last time out was Xanadou (Jean-Claude Rouget/Christophe Soumillon), who appeared to be the chief victim behind subsequent Jockey Club runner-up Saint Baudolino in a very rough Prix de Guiche.
That cost the son of Peintre Celebre his 100 per cent success rate, and connections have opted to drop back a furlong on their return to Chantilly.
What They Say
Alessandro Botti, assistant trainer of Malossol
"We decided to give him a short break after the Italian Guineas rather than go to Longchamp [for the Poule d'Essai] before preparing him ahead of the Paul Moussac. He's usually held up and I expect that will be the tactic employed again."
Brian Meehan, trainer of Archbishop
"He led everywhere bar the line in a hot Newmarket handicap on his return to action. He has a tough task but deserves his shot at the level."
Tony Clout, trainer of Hippolyte
"I have to say I'm very happy with the horse, who is near his peak and has recovered well from his comeback run. He was ready for his seasonal debut, I'd done the necessary work with him before the race. He seems to have come on a bit for the run but, at this higher level, we'll have to see what happens."
Richard Hannon, trainer of Coupe De Ville
"Coupe De Ville ran really well the last time he crossed the Channel, finishing on top of the placed horses when a close seventh in the French 2,000 Guineas. He won't mind the soft ground and hopefully he'll get a slice of the action out there."