Laurens conqueror Polydream out to win fillies' Classic on comeback run
Emirates Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Group 1) 3yo fillies | 1m | ATR/RUK
For all his success with fillies Freddy Head is yet to win the French version of the 1,000 Guineas. Polydream and Sea Prose give him a fine chance of rectifying that.
Polydream put in one of the two-year-old performances of the year when surging away from Laurens last August, form which has risen in value since.
Polydream rounded off her year when finding only Wild Illusion too strong in the Prix Marcel Boussac and Head will attempt to repeat Mikel Delzangles' rare feat five years ago in winning this race with a filly making her seasonal reappearance.
“She had a minor hold up and, with such bad weather this spring, it hasn’t been possible to get a run into her,” said Head. “I’m very happy with her and the better the ground, the better for her.”
Sea Prose looked the likely winner of the key trial for this race, the Prix de la Grotte, before being run down late by Musis Amica.
With stable jockey Aurelien Lemaitre on the sidelines with an elbow injury, Head has called up Frankie Dettori as a luxury substitute.
“She's a decent filly and, in contrast to Polydream, loves soft ground,” said Head. “Dettori doesn’t know the filly but rides Longchamp very well and knows what he’s doing.”
Fabre duo add depth to French defence
Musis Amica leapt into the reckoning when coming straight from a maiden success at Saint-Cloud last November to winning what is historically the most important trial, the Prix de la Grotte.
Godolphin’s runner came from last to first to collar Sea Prose in the style of a very good filly, though trainer Andre Fabre admits he is unsure how she will handle better ground.
“I'm happy with Musis Amica in terms of her work and condition but you must keep in mind the ground conditions the day of the Prix de la Grotte were different,” said Fabre. “She's shown twice she handles very soft ground and that might change on good ground.”
Coolmore’s Wind Chimes was initially being prepared for the 1,000 Guineas on the back of an impressive Listed success last November but put in a fairly disappointing effort when fifth behind her stablemate in the Grotte.
However, with echoes of his Newmarket Guineas winner Miss France, Fabre believes Wind Chimes has turned a significant corner since her prep.
He said: “Wind Chimes had a difficult preparation for the Grotte but since then has worked really well, and she's going to run a proper race. I think she has a good chance.”
What they say
Mauricio Delcher-Sanchez, trainer of Coeur De Beaute
She's in good form and took the race very well. She was pretty tuned up for the Imprudence but, like all horses, will come on a little bit for her comeback. I'd have preferred a lower draw but we’ll have to deal with it. At least we’re on the Moyenne Piste, where they have 300 metres before the turn, and she's normally held up anyway. My biggest worry is whether she'll see out the 1600m as well as she did 1400m, and a lot will depend on how fast they go.
David Simcock, trainer of Teppal
She's a talented filly who's training well but the trip is a bit of an unknown as both her wins at two were at seven furlongs and she's not really bred for a mile. We're happy with her draw but if it got too soft we might pull out.
Jean-Claude Rouget, trainer of Mission Impassible
In the Grotte the ground was heavy and she was drawn wide so she had it to do. She's progressed well since her comeback. She wouldn’t want too much rain.
Antoine de Watrigant, trainer of Red Line
She's come on a lot since her comeback, She's fitter and has also put on 7kg in a fortnight. We’ve been short of time since her comeback success at Toulouse so I've taken a leaf out of the athletics manual and had her on a programme of interval training to build her up as I left plenty to work on before Toulouse. People might worry because Peslier is no longer aboard but he's retained by Sheikh Al Thani and, if he's correct in his thoughts on my filly, we can hope for a top-four finish.
Karl Burke, trainer of Ellthea
She goes there in great form and the cut in the ground will be in her favour. It's a tough assignment on her first start of the season but I think she'll run well.
Didier Guillemin, trainer of Zonza
She's done well since her comeback run. Perhaps she's better over 1400m than 1600m, but on the Moyenne Piste she should be okay and I hope she can finish in the money. She had perhaps had enough last season by the time she ran in the Marcel Boussac.
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Could It Be Love
She won her maiden very well at Dundalk and is in good form. This will be a big step up for her but we're happy with her. The better the ground, the more she'll like it.
Marco Botti, trainer of Capla Temptress
We won a Group 1 last year at Woodbine, then she went to William Mott. Since she came back she's wintered well. She hasn’t grown much but is pleasing us at home. Is she good enough to win a Classic? Probably not. But she's genuine.
Fabrice Vermeulen, trainer of Barkaa
Physically I get the impression she's in great shape. She's only just been kept ticking over and hasn’t needed a lot of work. Her biggest asset is how calm she is.
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