The British are coming: Hurricane Lane v Alenquer a Paris match to savour
Grand Prix de Paris (Group 1) | 3yo colts & fillies | 1m4f | Sky
Charlie Appleby and Godolphin get the chance to add another significant success to what has become a marquee year with their three-year-old colts at Longchamp on Wednesday evening as Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby hero Hurricane Lane returns to the fray in what looks a very strong Grand Prix de Paris.
Having run an honourable third to stablemate Adayar in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom, the son of Frankel produced an irresistible surge at the Curragh to run down Lone Eagle.
While such an effort might have floored many for a few weeks, Appleby has been surprised by the apparent speed of Hurricane Lane's recovery.
"Hurricane Lane heads to Paris in good order," said Appleby. "We expected him to need some time after what looked a hard race in the Irish Derby but he surprised us with how well he came out of it.
"He worked nicely over the weekend and we opted to take this route as there is plenty of time between now and the St Leger. This looks a good opportunity to hopefully win another Group 1 over a mile and a half and he looks the one to beat."
Hurricane Lane was added to the field at the supplementary stage on Saturday and will be ridden by regular partner William Buick, who along with James Doyle will be making their first trip across to France of the season.
Doyle partners impressive King Edward VII Stakes winner Alenquer for William Haggas and MM Stables, following the news that Tom Marquand would not be able to travel as he has not yet received a second Covid-19 vaccination.
"He's a nice horse and although he's got an awkward draw [stall 11 of 11], it is a mile and a half so he's got a long run to the bend to get sorted out," said Haggas. "He won on good ground at Sandown and I don't want it too soft.
"He's done very well and he's progressive, though he'll need to be to beat Hurricane Lane."
Aidan O'Brien is three-handed in his bid to add to an excellent recent record in the race, having taken the last three editions with Kew Gardens, Japan and Mogul.
What they say
Jean-Claude Rouget, trainer of Saiydabad and Cheshire Academy
Saiydabad enjoyed the perfect trip in the Jockey Club and although he took time to warm to his task, everything opened up for him on the inside. Cheshire Academy was heavily penalised with his wide draw and he had also missed a piece of work a fortnight before the race. In the circumstances, fifth was a very good effort. The step up in trip will suit both and I don't think ground conditions make much difference to either.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Sir Lamorak, The Mediterranean and Wordsworth
Sir Lamorak has been good since Ascot. We thought he ran a big race there considering the weight he had. He's progressing nicely and we're happy with him. Wordsworth had a bad draw in the Irish Derby and was trapped wide the whole way. We think he's a big, solid horse and very like his brother [Kew Gardens]. The Mediterranean didn't enjoy conditions at Ascot. It got very soft the day he ran and he just laboured a little. We think he's better than the bare form of that.
Pascal Bary, trainer of Baby Rider
He never got a proper breather in all the way round in the Jockey Club and that cost him at the finish. He is very well but it's tough opposition.
Andreas Wohler, trainer of Northern Ruler
We were very happy with him at Chantilly and he's improved since. It will be a tough race and I hope they don't get to much rain as he wouldn't like it heavy. He is always able to take up a good position so he's an easy ride.
Ludovic Gadbin, trainer of Cash Equity
He is yet to win a black type race but he's been consistent and we hope the step up to 2,400 metres will bring about improvement.
Mikel Delzangles, trainer of Bubble Chic
He's come out of the Prix du Lys well having finished second there and he goes on every type of ground, while he also has the advantage of having won at Longchamp.
Tuesday deluge turns ground very soft
Longchamp has been hit with 45mm of rain over the last 24 hours, with the going on Wednesday morning described as very soft or 4.1 on the penetrometer from Tuesday morning's description of good (3.1).
The forecast for the rest of Wednesday is overcast but with little additional rain. Officials have changed the running order of the earlier races to allow themselves the option of moving the rail on the Grande Piste to open up fresh ground if required and a decision will be made during the course of the day.
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