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'We're very hopeful' - Murtagh's confidence in leading Lagardere contender

Shartash and Ben Coen winners of the Group 2 Railway Stakes.The CurraghPhoto: Patrick McCann/Racing Post25.06.2022
Shartash: endured a frustrating passage when third in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh last timeCredit: Patrick McCann (

Sunday: 1.15 Longchamp
Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Group 1) | 7f | 2yo colts and fillies | ITV/Sky

The Jean-Luc Lagardere was staged over a mile from the five-year period between 2015 and 2019 but this Group 1 juvenile prize has since reverted to its traditional seven-furlong trip.

The significance of an extra furlong is more pronounced for juveniles and the pick of the French brigade are Breizh Sky and Tigrais, who were separated by a short head in the Prix la Rochette over seven furlongs here last time and are difficult to separate.

However, the feeling is this could be one for the away team. One of only three juveniles trained by Johnny Murtagh with a future Classic entry, Shartash endured a frustrating passage when third in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh last time and may have gone close to winning with more luck. That proved he gets seven furlongs and stall two is a positive.
Race analysis by Robbie Wilders

What they say

Alessandro Botti, trainer of Breizh Sky
He was just running back after a break the other day and may have been a bit unlucky with Christophe [Soumillon] finding himself in front too early. Still, he showed some quality. It will be difficult to win with two very good foreign horses in there but we've had this race in mind for a long time and I hope he can be placed.

Johnny Murtagh, trainer of Shartash
He's in great order and travelled over well. Everything has gone well in the lead up to the race and I do think he will handle the ground. We're very hopeful.

Andre Fabre, trainer of Belbek
He is going reasonably well in the mornings and the extra furlong won't do any harm. He needs to settle; he's been a bit keen.

Mauricio Delcher Sanchez, trainer of Vicious Harry
The trip is probably at the end of his range but if you're going to stay it anywhere it will be at Longchamp. He has some experience and always gives his running. He's in top form so we thought we would let him take his chance.
Reporting by James Burn

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Robbie WildersTipster
James BurnLambourn correspondent
Published on 1 October 2022Last updated 12:08, 2 October 2022