Unbeaten Anodor bids to get Head team off to a flyer in Jean-Luc Lagardere
Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Group 1) | 2yo colts | 1m | ITV/ATR
Anodor could give four-time Arc-winning jockey Freddy Head the perfect start to what could be a landmark day in his training career.
Head has extremely well-fancied runners in four of the day's Group 1s and has extra reason to believe Anodor can triumph, given the Head family's Haras du Quesnay stand his freshman sire Anodin, while wife Sara still retains a 50 per cent share in the unbeaten colt.
Anodor beat the highly touted Persian King in an often informative newcomers race at Deauville before recording a straightforward success in the Group 3 Prix des Chenes here at Longchamp.
"I'm very happy with him and he continues to progress," said Head. "I'd prefer the rain to stay away for him as he likes good ground."
Anodor made the running in both his starts, but Head would be more than happy to see jockey Aurelien Lemaitre get a lead from one of the visitors.
"He's very straightforward and has a good turn of foot, so he’ll handle whatever pace there is in the race," he said.
Also unbeaten is Boitron, who represents French ownership in the shape of Gerard Augustin-Normand, but has recorded all three victories in Britain under the guidance of Richard Hannon.
The most recent of those was in the Listed Denford Stakes at Newbury under Silvestre de Sousa in August, however he will be ridden by Augustin-Normand's retained rider Cristian Demuro at Longchamp.
"It’s great to be going over to France with a live chance and I think this horse could be the real deal," said Hannon.
"He won easily at Newbury last time and showed a great attitude when giving plenty of weight to the second horse. Everything has gone right since and he seems to be getting better day by day."
Hannon's father won the Lagardere with Olympic Glory in 2012, while Aidan O'Brien has often been a useful starting point when searching for the winner.
Happily gave O'Brien an eighth success in the race last year – a record that would be even stronger but for the disqualification of Gleneagles in 2014 – and this year the trainer relies on Broome.
He said: "He's been a bit green and babyish in his races so far but he ran well when second to a good colt [Madhmoon] in a Group 2 at Leopardstown last month and we think he has come on since."
Saeed Bin Suroor freely admits this is something of an exploratory mission for Royal Marine, who went into plenty of notebooks after winning at Doncaster in a time which dipped under the well-regarded Sangarius on the same card.
"It’s a big jump up in class for him, but I think he has a lot of quality, and we'll see if he measures up," he said.
The foreign-trained challenge is completed by Dark Jedi, who was second at Listed level to the Hannon-trained Kuwait Currency at Salisbury before filling the same spot in an Ayr nursery.
"He'll like the trip and the ground," said trainer Charlie Hills. "He's got a bit to find, but I've seen stronger Group 1s."
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