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Longchamp - Oct 09

Longchamp: French Guineas contenders could stay at home

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

French duo to sidestep Guineas date with Dawn

FRENCH opposition to Dawn Approach and impressive Craven Stakes winner Toronado appears to be melting away after the connections of both Style Vendome and Penny's Picnic said they will miss the Qipco 2,000 Guineas in favour of an attempt at the home equivalent a Longchamp.

The pair finished first and third in the Prix Djebel over 7f at the start of the month, with Style Vendome a general 16-1 chance to go one better than stablemate French Fifteen, who was runner-up in the Guineas for Nicolas Clement 12 months ago.

"In the first place the opposition might be a little weaker at Longchamp," said Clement of the decision to wait a week for the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, which this year has been given a €100,000 boost in prize-money.

"The second reason is that obviously there's no travelling to worry about whilst it's also true that the prize-money for the Poulains is better as well.  He's French-bred so he'll be running for the premiums."

Penny's Picnic finished nearly three lengths behind Style Vendome at Maisons-Laffitte and trainer Didier Guillemin also announced on Monday that the Poule d'Essai on May 12 would be the next target for the son of Kheleyf.

"His comeback was a good one without giving us full confidence to take him to Newmarket," said Guillemin, who won the French Guineas in 2011 with Tin Horse. "The colt has a lot of speed and Longchamp might not place quite so much pressure on his stamina."

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