Rohaut aims to retain Prix Noailles crown
Preview: France, Monday (1.20pm BST)
Longchamp: Prix Noailles (Group 2) 1m2½f, 3yo colts & fillies
FRANCOIS ROHAUT could be considered the title-holder of this trial for the Prix du Jockey Club, having sent out the victorious Hard Dream (now in training in Hong Kong as Chater Dream) 12 months ago.
Kapour (Francois-Xavier Bertras) holds obvious claims of bringing the prize back to the South West for Rohaut, having maintained his 100 per cent record when successfully defied heavy ground in the Listed Prix Maurice Caillaut at Saint-Cloud last month.
"It was very quick ground when he won his debut and he's always trained like a horse who wants a sound surface," said Rohault. "We've had no trouble since Saint-Cloud and his build-up has gone smoothly."
That was Kapour's first start in Paris after two wins last year nearer to home and came at the expense of Country Reel.
Since then Elie Lellouche's inmate has chased home the highly-regarded Ocovango in the Prix Francois Mathet, a race which saw Max Dynamite (Jon van Handenhove/Antoine Hamelin) doing his best work late on in third.
"I was pleased because they went quite fast up front and he was a bit caught for speed turning in but, he was closing all the way up the straight," said van Handenhove.
Pascal Bary has already shown at Longchamp that he has an exciting crop of three-year-olds and he fires Art Contemporain (Christophe Soumillon) straight into Group company having won a newcomers race on the Chantilly all-weather nine days ago.
The supplemented Tableaux (Andre Fabre/Maxime Guyon) also attempts a steep climb in class, despite having not broken his maiden in three attempts.
As a half-brother to US Grade 3 winner Giant Gizmo, the Investec Derby entry is bred for the job but is yet to make much of a dent in the $330,000 he cost the Coolmore partners.