Solow sister Lunch Lady set to serve it up to rivals on debut at Chantilly
French three-year-old maidens attract some exquisitely bred contenders
Flat purists fatigued by the Cheltenham Festival are granted some welcome distraction on Thursday thanks to an interesting card at Chantilly that is set to feature two Listed contests and the debut of a half-sister to champion miler Solow.
It is getting to that time of year when more and more well-bred French three-year-olds turn out for the many races for unraced horses the country stages, and the two mile maidens – one for colts and geldings, the other for fillies – at Chantilly have attracted some contenders with eye-catching pedigrees.
The Prix du Soissonnais (2.55 local time, 1.55 GMT) is the fillies' version and the Wertheimer brothers' homebred Lunch Lady, trained by Freddy Head, is the pedigree pick.
She is by Kildangan Stud kingpin Shamardal, sire of 18 Group/Grade 1 winners, and is out of the Group 3-placed Highest Honor mare High Maintenance, making her a half-sister to Solow.
The Singspiel gelding Solow dominated the miling division in 2015, when he won the Prix d'Ispahan, Queen Anne Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes to be crowned the champion over that distance.
Lunch Lady's rivals include Ogadine, a Le Havre half-sister to Prix Guillaume d'Ornano winner Pinson trained by Henri-Alex Pantall for the Rothschild family.
The mile maiden for males set to be run earlier on the card at 1.10 local time, 12.10 GMT, comprises a field of six including two who stand out on breeding.
Rashke, trained by Andre Fabre for Godolphin, is from the second of two crops conceived by Australian champion sire Redoute's Choice when he shuttled to Haras de Bonneval and is out of Ribblesdale Stakes winner Silkwood.
Silkwood has not flourished as a broodmare with Next Life and Silken Dancer, both with Racing Post Ratings of 83, the best of her five runners.
In fact, Godolphin dispensed with Silkwood's services by selling her for just €35,000 to Loughtown Stud at Goffs in November, so any upturn in the mare's fortunes brought about by Rashke would be in her new owner's favour.
Rashke's rival Nizaal, set to be saddled by Freddy Head for Hamdan Al Maktoum, is by the great Dubawi out of Motmayza, a Nayef sister to Group 1-winning miler Tamayuz from the further family of Urban Sea and Galileo.
Among the Chantilly Listed action, the Archie Watson-trained Corinthia Knight is set to appear in a competitive renewal of the Prix Montenica (2.20 local time/1.20 GMT) for three-year-olds over 6½f, while Jean-Pierre Gauvin's Absolute City, winner of the Prix Yacowlef in November, makes her seasonal reappearance in the Prix Ronde de Nuit (3.25 local time, 2.25 GMT) over 6f.