Scott Burton, our man in France, picks out three fancies on the Longchamp bill
There are few more specialist layouts across the major French tracks than the7f course at Longchamp, which throws the runners downhill from a chute before quickly sweeping into the false straight, the home turn and then a long haul to the second winning post.
At what is already something of a specialist trip, ahigh draw can be ruinous. The Prix Maurice Zilber looks wide open at firstglance but closer inspection reveals a number of the more tempting runners are either compromised byground, draw and/or trip.
Wasmyahas a nice berth in stall five and, although she must defy a 2lb penalty for a Listed win inGermany, she was far from disgraced when eighth in the Prix de la Foret on Arc day, while trainer Francis Graffard was in sparkling form before the shutdown.
While plenty of French trials are maddeningly tactical, the Prix de laGrottefeatures a clutch of fillies attemptingto state their case for the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and is a race where there looks some natural pace.
Fewof the jockeys will want to crawl before setting things up for Cheveley Park third Tropbeau, who has yet to race beyong six furlongs.
Aurelien Lemaitre will be happy to sit handy and perhaps even leadonKhayzaraan and, if the daughter of Kingman lives up to the visual impression of two wide-margin wins last year, Tropbeau will need to be verygood– and crucially will probably need Mickael Barzalona toget agood deal more serious with her than Andre Fabre would wish for first up– to overhaul her.
Stranger things have happened in racing than the notion that Sottsass could be beaten in a comeback run, although there is nothing unfair about the long odds-on prices being quoted about the Arc third.
That is not to say the race doesn't have an interesting each-way shape, since the clear second best on ratings, Shaman, is far fromguaranteed to see out the final quarter-mile.
EnterSoudania– like Khayzaraan trained by Freddy Head– who made rapid progress last season and proved her liking for Longchamp with Listed and Group 3 wins last autumn, the second of which came against the colts. The decision of her trainer and owner-breeders to keep her in training speaks volumes and she shouldgive a bold account.
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