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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Dunlop hopeful Jack can come up trumps as he steps into Group company

Harry Dunlop: "I think he's got a good chance and it's great to have Jim on board"
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4.20 (BST) Longchamp
Prix de Lutece | Group 3 | 1m7f | turf | 3yo

Harry Dunlop's biggest successes have come in France, so it is little surprise the trainer is crossing the Channel again to pitch recent 25-1 handicap winner Jackfinbar into Group company at Longchamp on Sunday.

A son of Whipper, Jackfinbar struck at Sandown in the last week of July under Jim Crowley, who again takes the ride in the Group 3 Prix de Lutece, a race that has helped launch the Group 1 careers of Getaway, Americain and Vazirabad.

The Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained Ziyad is expected to start favourite, but he was behind Dunlop's raider in a Compiegne conditions race in June.

Dunlop said: "On that run, I think he's got a good chance and it's great to have Jim on board, but it's a Group race, not a handicap, so he's got to improve.

"We're hopeful of a good run and I think there could be improvement in him. The distance is important and the further he's gone the better. He loved a mile and six last time – and a stiff one at Sandown – and this is a mile and seven, so hopefully it'll will suit him.

"They're calling the ground soft but they've got two very hot days. I can't think it'll be like that, but as long as it's not really soft it should be okay."

Watch Jackfinbar win at Sandown

Dunlop recorded his first top-level victory in the 2015 Criterium de Saint-Cloud with Robin Of Navan, while in the past year Fighting Irish and Knight To Behold have struck in valuable French Group 2s.

Being French-bred, Jackfinbar qualifies for a prize-money premium so is in line for a pot nudging £60,000 if he scores.

"We always liked him but he was just a big, unfurnished horse," added Dunlop, whose three-year-old also ran at Chantilly as a juvenile and has taken his latest journey well.

"Before Christmas we went to Wolverhampton, which probably isn't his track, but he still won and he's just got bigger and stronger."

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Harry Dunlop stats, entries and big-race wins

The distance is important and the further he's gone the better
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