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Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Beckett sends Air Pilot on his travels again for Group 3 test

Air Pilot (near side) returns to action in the Prix Exbury at Saint-Cloud
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Preview: France, Saturday (1.35)
Saint-Cloud: Prix Exbury | Group 3 | Turf | 4yo+ | 

Ralph Beckett makes a fast start to the European turf season by sending Air Pilot on another French foray for the first Group race of the year on grass.

The nine-year-old is no stranger to trips abroad, with victories in France and Ireland, and was in good form last time out when second to Permission in the Listed Jane Seymour Stakes at Newmarket in November.

Conditions will be on the testing side at Saint-Cloud for Saturday's Group 3, which will suit Air Pilot, and Beckett said on Friday: "He often runs well fresh, so the layoff is no concern.

"Ten furlongs on deep ground is right up his alley. I'll be disappointed if he's not competitive."

Last season's Arc runner-up Cloth Of Stars began his 2017 campaign with victory in the Exbury for Andre Fabre, and the trainer has a chance of back-to-back victories with Soleil Marin.

The four-year-old won a Listed race and Group 3 early on last year but struggled when his sights were raised.

Spotify has enjoyed a good winter with two wins on the all-weather at Cagnes-Sur-Mer and looks a big danger for Christophe Ferland, while Corine Barande-Barbe's Garlingari won a Listed race at the same venue, although on turf, last month.

Prix Exbury card


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Ten furlongs on deep ground is right up his alley. I'll be disappointed if he's not competitive
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