Mayson: July Cup winner has the plum draw in stall onePICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Mayson spearheads Britain's Abbaye team
Preview: France, Sunday 12.20pm GMT (live on ATR/RUK)
Longchamp: Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting
RICHARD FAHEY'S July Cup winner Mayson spearheads the traditionally powerful challenge from Britain for Sunday's Qatar Prix de l'Abbaye.
The French have kept the Group 1 sprint at home just once in the past ten years and on Sunday they have a solitary runner in the 19-strong field, the Robert Collet-trained filly Wizz Kid.
Collet said on Saturday that Wizz Kid will be equipped with cheekpieces for the first time. "Her last work went very well and I'm hoping she'll finish in the first five."
All but three of the 19 runners come from Britain, including the 1-2 from last year's race, Tangerine Trees and Secret Asset. However, whereas the pair had favourable draw positions on that occasion, on Sunday they have the two worst, 19 and 18 respectively.
Bryan Smart, trainer of Tangerine Trees, said: "That draw is a big disadvantage. But he has won on soft and I'm pleased with his preparation."
Ireland's Sole Power, third last year, has to cope with stall 15. Trainer Eddie Lynam said: "That isn't great and the rain they've had isn't helpful. Good to soft would be okay to let him take his chance, but we wouldn't want the ground much worse than that."
Mayson, ideally drawn in stall one, has not run since the July Cup having returned a dirty scope prior to an intended appearance in the Haydock Sprint Cup. Fahey said: "He's now in excellent shape and he has a big chance if things drop right for him."
Roger Charlton has won the Abbaye twice in the past nine years and has a lively outsider in Definightly. He said. "If you look at his five furlong form he's not a forlorn hope. He has run over the trip only twice, winning a Group 3 in Ireland and being beaten three quarters of a length by Mayson in the Palace House Stakes, finishing in front of Spirit Quartz and Hamish McGonagall, which is good form.
"He reverted to six because there weren't any five furlong races with suitable ground at the time. He likes soft ground."
Apart from the Arc, horses trained in Britain also have strong chances in other supporting races, including William Muir's Purr Along In the Total Prix Marcel Boussac, Richard Hannon's Olympic Glory in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium and John Gosden's Izzi Top in the Prix de l'Opera.
Ireland's Gordon Lord Byron will be fancied for the Qatar Prix de la Foret as will Saddler's Rock in the 2m4f Qatar Prix du Cadran.