Longchamp proceedings to shed light on Classic picture

13 April 2024

Beauvatier

As European racing nations gear up for their spring classics, and Deauville having staged its Guineas’ Trials last Tuesday, action moves to Longchamp on Sunday with a trio of Gr.3 contests dedicated to the 3 year-old generation. Both run over a mile, the Prix de la Grotte is restricted to fillies, while the Prix de Fontainebleau is the colts’ equivalent. Covering 2100m, the Prix Noailles is an established, and important, prep for the Prix du Jockey-Club.

Won in 2023 by Blue Rose Cen, the Prix de la Grotte has attracted an interesting bunch, with Rose Bloom very much in focus. Second in last autumn’s Prix Marcel Boussac, she is the highest-rated horse in the field and her return to competition has been eagerly-anticipated. Deauville’s late-season Gr.3 Prix des Réservoirs frequently showcases future stars and its last winner, Tulipa Chope, is no exception. Absent since winning her maiden by 4L at Chantilly last September, the blue-blooded Candala carries with her some of the Aga Khan’s classic hopes.

Best 2yo of 2023, Beauvatier makes his seasonal debut in the ‘Fontainebleau’ and although untested beyond 1400m, getting the mile should prove no problem. Ramadan trounced The Grey Man in a Saint-Cloud Listed on his first start back and his advanced form stands him in good stead. The Aga Khan is also represented by Zabiari, of whom Jean-Claude Rouget has high expectations in the ‘Poulains’.

A small field this year, the Prix Noailles has nevertheless tempted the first three in last month’s Listed Prix François Mathet, respectively Bright FutureCalandagan and Trafalgar Square. All three are geldings though, so no Prix du Jockey-Club. Sibayan, and the English pair of Golden West and Black Run, also line up for what seems an open affair.

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