Trainer Christophe Ferland has left a bit to work on with star colt DabirsimPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Star juvenile Dabirsim returns on Poulains trail
Preview: France, Sunday 3.10pm BST
Longchamp: Prix de Fontainebleau (Group 3) 1m, 3yo colts
DABIRSIM (Christophe Ferland/Christophe Soumillon) emerges from winter quarters to take what his connections hope will be the first step in a Classic season that can match the heights he reached as a juvenile.
Had Ferland been able to hand pick an assignment prior to next month's Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas), then a field of just six for Dabirsim's first try over 1m would tick most of the boxes.
The son of Hat Trick became the first two-year-old to be elected Horse of the Year in France since Arazi in 1991, after landing the same Group 1 double as his illustrious predecessor of the Prix Morny and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Despite being trapped on the rail until well inside the final two furlongs, Dabirsim got first run on Sofast (Freddy Head/Olivier Peslier) in the Lagardere.
The Rock Of Gibraltar colt, owned by the Wertheimers, did not look the finished article at two, and is reported by Head to have done well through the winter.
Dragon Pulse (Mikel Delzangles/Gregory Benoist) adds a fascinating dimension to the race, having moved to Chantilly after a decent campaign with Jessica Harrington last season.
After registering a stylish success in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes, Dragon Pulse found only Power too good in the Goffs National Stakes back at the Curragh in September.
Christophe Lemaire: on VaniloquioPICTURE: Mark Cranham
Of the three remaining contenders, Coup De Theatre (Philippe van de Poele/Ronan Thomas) sprang something of a shock when scoring in a Listed race on his turf debut last month, while the seemingly exposed Vaniloquio (Nicolas Clement/Christophe Lemaire)represents a yard whose three-year-olds are flying at the moment.
Historic Find (Andre Fabre/Maxime Guyon) commands obvious respect given his stable's strength in depth.
The Pivotal colt seeks to become Fabre's first Fontainebleau winner since 2003 hero Clodovil, who went on to score in the Poulains the following month.
What they say
ChristopheFerland, trainer of Dabirsim
"The horse looks great and there have been no worries with him. There's a bit left to work on for the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, but he should run a good comeback and I'm certainly hoping for the best."
Mikel Delzangles, trainer of Dragon Pulse
"We've had him a few weeks now, he's very well and ready for his first run of the season. I don't know how he'd be on much softer ground, but if it's like Thursday [good to soft], that'll be fine for him."
Freddy Head, trainer of Sofast
"Dabirsim is a very good horse, but last time [in the Lagardere] he only just beat Sofast, who needs a more searching test and I think was a little unfortunate."