Cowell expecting Pocket rocket to fire in the Prix Robert Papin
Darley Prix Robert Papin | Group 2 | 2yo | 5½f
Royal Ascot form is put to the test in the Prix Robert Papin with Queen Mary Stakes winner Signora Cabello joined by Norfolk Stakes runner-up Pocket Dynamo as Phoenix Thoroughbreds launches a strong assault on the Group 2 prize.
The big-spending owners acquired Pocket Dynamo after his gallant effort in defeat at Royal Ascot, and trainer Robert Cowell is eyeing compensation in this valuable event, contested over five and a half furlongs.
Cowell said: "This has been the target since Royal Ascot and he's in great form.
"I don't see the trip being a problem as he was strong at the line in the Norfolk. On what he did at Ascot, and how the form is working out, it's not a surprise he's one of the favourites. However, it's a quality field."
Assessing the likely dangers in the small but select five-runner field, Cowell added: "Karl Burke doesn't send runners to France for a jolly so evidently thinks a bit of his [True Mason], while the two French runners [Sexy Metro and Simply Striking] have done nothing wrong.
"The main danger looks to be the filly, Signora Cabello, who won the Queen Mary. She's in the same ownership as Pocket Dynamo so it would be nice to finish one-two – but hopefully in my favour!"
Signora Cabello was a 25-1 winner of the Queen Mary but there appeared to be little fluke about the victory, which represented another sharp step forward in form terms. Once again she battled gamely and ought to have few problems with this slightly stiffer test.
Trainer John Quinn told At The Races: "We feel she could be even better over six furlongs, but she's not devoid of speed so five and a half holds no fears at all; she actually might be more comfortable over that trip.
"All she's done is improve. Winning can only do their confidence good and she's in good fettle."
True Mason has 20lb to find on Racing Post Ratings having raced only in novice company. However, Burke believes the unexposed juvenile, who won impressively at Nottingham last month, has the potential to rate much higher and compares favourably to his winner last year, Unfortunately.
Burke said: "He's a nice colt. He's rated 86 but he's better than that and I'm expecting a big run. I see similarities between him and Unfortunately – he compares nicely.
"He stays six furlongs, so we're hoping they go a nice gallop. We wouldn't be running if we didn't think he had a good chance."
Only two French runners stand in the way of the British making it five Prix Robert Papins in a row, with Sexy Metro, winner of a Listed race at the course last month, holding the strongest claims for the home team.
Trainer Didier Guillemin said: "I think he's come on for his Listed win, is stronger and is still improving. He pulled a little bit last time but he did it well and I think he's a good horse."
The field is completed by Simply Striking, a dual course-and-distance winner with a lot to find on the form book.
Trainer Mauricio Delcher-Sanchez said: "He has plenty of experience of the track, and although the race the other day was a bit below this sort of class he was impressive.
"He's certainly worth his place in the line-up and, although it won’t be easy against some talented and tough horses, he's in great form."
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