Freddy Head: has Zantenda entered at Royal Ascot and the July CupPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Zantenda trying sprintswith Royal Ascot in mind
Preview: France, Sunday (4.15pm BST)
Longchamp: Prix Saint-Georges (Group 3) 5f, 3yo+
ZANTENDA (Freddy Head/Olivier Peslier) was being trained in the early part of the season for Sunday's Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
But after she appeared not to stay in the Prix de la Grotte, Head is now exploring a career over shorter distances for the Zamindar filly.
"We'd like to try her at sprinting, and there aren't many places to run," he said earlier in the week. "It won't be easy, because 1,000m is a real specialist's trip but we'll see how she goes."
Zantendaholds entries in the King's Stand and Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot as well as the Darley July Cup.
Certainly her chances of making a winning start to her new career have been improved with a favourable draw in stall two.
The usual British and Irish invasion of Longchamp's straight 5f is somewhat muted for once, with only two Newmarket representatives making the trip.
Robert Cowell just missed out 12 months ago in a blanket finish with Prohibit and returns with Monsieur Joe (William Buick).
"He had a superb winter and has gone up the ratings a fair bit having shown himself capable of mixing it with top sprinters," said Cowell. "However, he has only been back from Dubai for ten days and I just don't know whether this race might come a bit soon for him."
Robert Cowell: was close last yearPICTURE: Chris Bourchier
Beyond Desire (Roger Varian/Jamie Spencer) only ran poorly once last year came when missing the break here in the Prix de l'Abbaye but must overcome beingdrawn 11 of 11.
Of the established French sprinters, Wizz Kid (Robert Collet/Gerald Mosse) ran the race of her life when second to Deacon Blues in the Champions Sprint at Ascot in October.
"She's only lightly-made and she has to give weight away but she's shown herself to be a high-class filly," said Collet.
Henri-Alex Pantall isdoubly represented, with recent Listed winner Sabratah (Fabrice Veron) appearing to be the stable number one over the reappearing Huma Bird (Mickael Barzalona).
"Sabratah has recovered well from the race at Fontainebleau, and now it's time to see if she can move up from a Listed race to Group 3," said Pantall.
Also on Sunday (1.30pm BST)
Longchamp: Prix Hocquart (Group 2) 1m3f, 3yo colts & fillies
LOI (Jean-Marie Beguigne/Olivier Peslier) bids to get his Prix du Jockey Club campaign back on track.
Olivier Peslier: rides fancied LoiPICTURE: Mark Cranham
A disappointing fourth on his return to action in the Prix Noailles behind Hard Dream, the son of Lawman had entered winter quarters with a big reputation built on his impressive success in the Prix Conde last October.
"Albeit he was racing against horses that had already run, I expected him to be more reactive," conceded Beguigne, who trained the sire to land the Jockey Club in 2007.
The long-striding Loi had originally been considered for the Investec Derby and while that plan was shelved in favour of Chantilly, his performance over this trip could tell us more about the colt's long-term prospects at 1m4f (he has entries in both the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris and the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe).
Masterstroke (Andre Fabre/Maxime Guyon) is promoted to the all-beige silks of Godolphin after two impressive successes in lesser company in the maroon-and-white of Sheikh Mohammed.
Athens (Aidan O'Brien/Joseph O'Brien) could only finish fourth in the Ballysax Stakes behind Light Heavy but has since won a conditions race at Navan easily enough.
Saint Loup (Jean-Claude Rouget/Gregory Benoist) was widely assumed to be a pacemaker for Beauvoir in the Prix La Force but stayed on past his wilting stablemate to claim second just a short head behind Saonois.
A bold showing here would certainly be a boost for Beauvoir who drops back in trip for the Poule d'Essai des Poulains later on the card.