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Domestic runners have the edge in French Guineas

11 May 2018

Sunday sees ParisLongchamp stage its first classics since renovations were completed at the flagship site last month. The Poules d’Essai des Poulains (2,000 Gns) and Poules d’Essai des Pouliches (1,000 Gns) will be run on the middle course for the first time in the race’s history and the open-stretch will make its classic debut.
In the colts’ event it is something of an open contest but domestically-trained horses may well have the advantage. Alex Pantall’s unbeaten Wootton showed a lot of courage to hold off the classy Olmedo on their respective comebacks in the Prix de Fontainebleau and while both will have since improved, a reversal of fortune is not out of the question. The versatile Dice Roll encountered no resistance in the Prix Djebel when imposing by five lengths and also merits significant respect, but the fly in the ointment could prove to be Ballydoyle’s U S Navy Flag who won a pair of Group 1 races last season. He may have been below-par at Leopardstown in his seasonal opener but if in form will take some beating. Another worth noting is the improving Francesco Béré.
The French look to have the fillies’ equivalent wrapped up. The Freddy Head-trained Polydream has not been seen out since running second to the good Laurens in the Prix Marcel Boussac last October but is all class and can strike first time back. She will however face opposition from Fabrice Vermeulen’s Barkaa, who trounced the opposition in the Prix Vanteaux early last month, and Musis Amica who looked a horse transformed when securing the Prix de la Grotte mid-April. Coeur De BeautéZonza and Wind Chimes all have their merits, but the foreign-trained pair of Could It Be Love and Tajaanus could yet throw a spanner in the works.
Picture: Wootton winning the Fontainebleau last month at ParisLongchamp