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Relaxed Cumani aiming high with progressive God Given

Luca Cumani: hoping Very Dashing can live up to her name at Maisons-Laffitte
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While several trainers will have been nervously eyeing the Normandy skies this weekend, Luca Cumani will have been relaxed about the weather for God Given, the mount of Jamie Spencer in the Group 3 Prix Minerve (3.55) over an extended mile and a half.

A half-sister to King George hero Postponed, God Given made her first start in Pattern company a winning one when making light of soft ground in the Aphrodite Stakes at Newmarket last month.

"She handles any ground and won't be inconvenienced if it turns soft," said Cumani. "She's always been a progressive filly who was due to get better with time and she's been going pretty well. That's why we went straight from a maiden into a Listed race and now we're taking the next step up."

John Gosden fields both Standing Rock – who is unbeaten and steps up from a Salisbury handicap – and Elas Ruby, who followed up Listed success over ten furlongs at Newbury with a solid third-placed effort in the Group 2 Prix de Malleret at Saint-Cloud. 

Elas Ruby stretches clear under James Doyle
"We were very happy with Elas Ruby's run in the Malleret, where she handled the step up to a mile and a half," said Gary Coffey, racing manager for owner-breeder Newsells Park Stud. 

"She's a smooth-actioned filly who appreciates good ground so we wouldn’t want too much rain, though she handles a bit of ease."

There are plenty of classic silks represented among the home defence, though it is the Kevin Borgel-trained Mademoiselle Marie who has the Group 1 form in the book, having been fifth to Senga in the Prix de Diane on her most recent start. 

Tansholpan has been seen out only once so far this season but the subsequent efforts of her Cheshire Oaks conqueror Enable make her appearance in the Listed Prix Michel Houyvet (4.35) - over just shy of two miles - worthy of close scrutiny.

Trainer Roger Varian said: "Tansholpan's Chester form looks much stronger now than it did at the time and she shapes like a filly who will stay very well. The course will suit her and she won't mind any rain so I hope she can run a big race."

Gold Luck will be aiming for Group 1 success earlier on the card in the Prix Jaques le Marois and her 'nephew' Galikeo shapes like one of the main dangers here.

"He ran well at Toulouse last time and we're trying a longer trip now," said trainer Freddy Head. "I think he'll stay and he has a chance of being involved at the finish."

Royal Associate steps up in class and trip for Charlie Appleby but is yet to taste defeat in two starts. 

Earlier in the day Appleby saddles Ascot maiden winner Mythical Magic in the seven-furlong Listed Prix Francois Boutin (1.55). 

Debutante's Ball ran a fair race for Stan Moore when fourth to Tantheem over a furlong shy of this trip in the Prix du Calvados a fortnight ago, while the Jo Hughes-trained Get Even was fifth over course and distance in the Listed Prix Six Perfections.


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She handles any ground and won't be inconvenienced if it turns soft