Extortionist (nearside) winning the Windsor Castle at Royal AscotPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Ascot principals fight for more glory in Papin
Preview: France, Sunday (1.30pm BST)
Maisons-Laffitte: Prix Robert Papin (Group 2) 5½f, 2yo
THE prospect of a rematch between the first and third from Royal Ascot's Windsor Castle Stakes has produced positive comments from both camps prior to a race in which only four of the nine runners are trained in France.
Sheikh Suhaim al Thani shared in the success of Extortionist (Olly Stevens/Jamie Spencer) at the royal meeting as one third of Qatar Racing and will now hope the Dandy Man colt can strike in his own silks.
Stevens believes allowing adequate recuperation is the key to Extortionist.
He said: "He's really come on since Ascot. I think I made a bit of a mistake running him back so quickly at York second time because he needs a good gap between races."
Anticipated (Richard Hannon/Richard Hughes) has half a length to find on the Windsor Castle winner, having been sent off market leader that day on the back of two wins.
"He is a fast horse and he ran a cracker in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot but ideally, he would prefer a little bit easier ground," said Hannon.
Ambiance (Mick Channon/Martin Harley) clearly has pace to burn, having given a lead to No Nay Never until well inside the final furlong of the Norfolk Stakes, before following up with a clearcut success in Sandown's Listed Dragon Stakes.
The British-trained challenge is completed by Lady Chantilly (Jo Hughes/Thomas Henderson), who failed to get involved in the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket but hails from a stable which has sent out two winners and three placed horses from 11 starts in France this year.
The four home runners are far from forlorn hopes, with each of the two key trials represented by the winner and runner-up.
While Vorda (Philippe Sogorb/Gregory Benoist) won only in Listed company last time, it was hard not to be impressed with the way she brushed aside her opposition.
"Fillies have a good record in the race and the way she's performed each time she's raced gives me a lot of hope," said a confident Sogorb.
The sole Italian raider Omaticaya (Manila Illuminati/Cristian Demuro) cannot be readily ignored either in a race which has been kind to visitors from the country in recent years.
Also on Sunday (2.40pm BST)
Maisons-Laffitte: Prix Eugene Adam (Group 2) 1m2f, 3yo
THE AGA KHAN has seen his colours carried to victory in two of the last three editions and will have high hopes one out of Shikarpour and Dalwari can continue the sequence.
Both of his winners were trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, who fields Ascot runner-up Shikarpour (Christophe Lemaire).
"Shikarpour is very well, which is why he was put in the race and his trainer is expecting a very good performance," said the owner's racing manager Georges Rimaud.
Before pushing Remote all the way to the line in the Tercentenary Stakes, Shikarpour had taken a major step up in class when fifth in the Prix du Jockey Club, comfortably outstripping Dalwari (Jean-Claude Rouget/Christophe Soumillon), who also runs in the famous green and red silks.
Rimaud continued: "Christophe Lemaire likes Shikarpour a lot and was disappointed with Dalwari in the Jockey Club, so Christophe Soumillon rides him. Dalwari had trouble entering the stalls last time and so we've done a lot of work with Nicolas Blondeau, who specialises in such problems. Fingers crossed the horse is over that now and everything goes well."
Rouget also runs Mutin (Ioritz Mendizabal), who steps up markedly in trip after failing to cope with the examination of the 7f Jersey Stakes.
Andre Fabre has dominated with his middle-distance colts this summer and fields three.
Unlike Dalwari, Triple Threat (Pierre-Charles Boudot) has been slow to come out of the stalls rather than going in, having forfeited ten lengths at the start behind Rouget's representative in the Prix de Guiche.
Pilote (Olivier Peslier) may be a typical Fabre improver but his form looks below the best on offer here.
Godolphin's Buckwheat (Maxime Guyon) is likely to be the pick of the Fabre trio on the pari-mutuel but is untested on a sound surface.
Having chased home subsequent Grand Prix de Paris runner-up Manndawi, the Manduro colt broke his maiden in a Chantilly Listed stakes.
Glacial Age (Jo Hughes/Thomas Henderson) finished second to Buckwheat and reopposes. Hughes said: "I'm hoping he'll handle quicker ground and if he does it'll open up more options."