In-form Spinning Memories out to bag another Group 3 in Prix du Palais-Royal
Prix du Palais-Royal (Group 3) | 7f | 3yo+ | SKY
Spinning Memories wasted no time in getting her campaign off to a flyer in Listed company on French racing's return fixture at Longchamp earlier this month, and Thursday's Prix du Palais-Royal looks another good opportunity for the classy mare to add a Group 3 to her tally.
A ready winner at the same level in last season's Prix de Meautry Barriere, Pascal Bary's five-year-old is clearly in a good place at present and appears the one to beat in the 7f contest, which has been rerouted to Clairefontaine from Longchamp.
There was also a timely boost to the form of her recent Prix Maurice Zilber success when third-placed Air De Valse landed the feature handicap at Vichy on Wednesday.
It would be no surprise to see the Freddy Head-trained Devil come on a bundle for his underwhelming comeback run in the Prix de Fontainebleau, having produced some smart form last season over shorter.
The mount of Maxime Guyon should be more comfortable now dropping in distance and he receives a handy pull at the weights being the only three-year-old in the field.
Six-year-old Stunning Spirit, if producing his very best, could play a part in proceedings, although he is more exposed than the likes of Azano, a new recruit to Francis Graffard from John Gosden.
The Oasis Dream four-year-old, who will be making his first appearance for 257 days, claimed a Group 3 prize at Chantilly last June before failing to fire behind Too Darn Hot in the Prix Jean Prat (Group 1) and trailing the five-runner Park Stakes (Group 2) field at Doncaster in September.
The former Kevin Ryan-trained Stormbringer, now in the care of Chantilly-based Irish trainer Gavin Hernon, steps up in class following a narrow handicap success on the all weather at Chantilly in February, while Tertius needs to step forward from his comeback third at the same venue in March.
Milord's Song was turned over as 23-10 favourite at Compiegne when last seen in March, but the form of that 7f event was boosted when the ready winner Simona bolted up in the Prix Exbury (Group 3) less than a fortnight later.
What the trainers say
Pascal Bary, trainer of Spinning Memories
She's a lovely mare and I think seven furlongs is perfect for her. She took her last run well and I am hoping for a very good performance.
Francis Graffard, trainer of Azano
He's got very good form behind him and has been gelded before he came to me in February. He's quite a hot-tempered horse and has been working well but I will know more about him after this race.
Gavin Hernon, trainer of Stormbringer
It did him the world of good in terms of confidence to get his head in front last time. He came to us last year and we thought he was capable of this level, but he was sick during the summer. Since we took care of those problems, he's gone on the up over the winter on the all-weather. If we finally see the horse that we thought we received last year, he's got every chance of running a nice race. He's up in class and you'd imagine Spinning Memories will be hard to beat, but you'd like to think he'll be fighting it out for the places.
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