Allied Powers: "needs some serious" rain according to Michael BellPICTURE: Edward Whitaker/racingpostpix.com
Ground holds key to Allied offensive
Preview: France, Wednesday (2.50pm BST)
Longchamp: Prix d'Hedouville (Group 3) 1m4f, 4yo+
ALLIED Powers (Michael Bell/Christophe Soumillon) was a winner of this race in 2010 and again 12 months ago but the current going forecast of good to soft will be against the Michael Bell-trained eight-year-old.
"He has won the race twice but probably to have a realistic chance of winning at his age we need some serious rain which doesn't look like materialising," admitted Bell. "But he is in really good form."
Similar concerns apply to a couple of the main players from the home defence.
Haya Landa (Sylvie Audon/Franck Blondel) makes a quick reappearance after failing to land a blow in a hot renewal of the Prix Ganay 10 days ago.
"She's come out of the Ganay very well but for her it's a question of the ground," cautioned Audon of her stable star, who finished fourth in last October's Arc. "Rain was forecast but it hasn't arrived yet. We'll see if we get any in the morning but it's possible she might not run if there's none."
Gentle Storm (Yann Barberot/Ioritz Mendizabal) ran almost the perfect trial for this when failing by a length to concede 3lb to the progressive Now We Can over course and distance, although his trainer would also like some natural assistance from above.
Barberot reported: "He finished really well that day and he seems to have improved since but, we'd like soft ground for him. He has good form on better ground when only just beaten by Remus De La Tour in a Listed last season but, if it were soft tomorrow, I could see him putting up a really big performance."
Pirika (Andre Fabre/Pierre-Charles Boudot) has two and a half lengths to find with Gentle Storm from the Prix Lord Seymour.
That was her re-appearance though and the form of her placed efforts in the Prix Vermeille and the Prix de l'Opera give her a fine chance of being involved at the finish, with better ground an additional plus.
Another who won't mind the sounder surface is Testosterone (Ed Dunlop/Christophe Lemaire), who put a troubled first season in England behind her when trouncing useful rivals in the Listed Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham.
If back to the level of form she showed as a progressive three-year-old with Pascal Bary, the daughter of Dansili will rate a danger to all.