ParisLongchamp Sunday

1.15 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Group 1) (2yo Colts & Fillies) 7f

The French have been really struggling when faced with foreign-trained opponents in their juvenile group races so it should pay to concentrate on the Irish raiding party in this seven-runner, seven-furlong affair.

That still leaves us with three to choose between. Jessica Harrington’s Pivotal Trigger is clearly the weakest of the trio since he has already travelled to Paris once and had to settle for third place in the Group 3 Prix des Chenes, although this drop back in trip may be in his favour. Johnny Murtagh’s Shartash already has a major feather in his cap in being the last colt to beat the dual Group 1 hero Blackbeard in the Group 2 Railway Stakes back in June.

Twice third at the top level since, Shartash should go very well again but may have to settle for second because Blackbeard’s trainer, Aidan O’Brien, may take revenge with The Antarctic.

This son of Dark Angel has finished behind Blackbeard no less than three times, but he looks like he will appreciate this extra furlong and will be hard to beat provided he has recovered from last Saturday’s second place behind his old rival in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.


Next best: Shartash

1.50 Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac (Group 1) (2yo Fillies) 1m

If the home team does have a rare top-class two-year-old in its midst, it is likely to be in the fillies’ division and tongues have been wagging about Carlos Laffon-Parias’s unbeaten Frankel youngster, Kelina.

Wildly impressive in her two starts to date (and her easy Deauville debut victory has worked out exceptionally well), she has both speed and stamina in her pedigree as she is from the family of the Group 1 winners With You (1m), We Are (1m 2f) and Call The Wind (2m 4f). She is the best bet of the day.

There are some interesting types among her 11 opponents including the exciting German filly Habana and three Irish raiders in the Stack-trained Aspen Grove, O’Brien’s Never Ending Story and Gan Teorainn from the Jim Bolger stable.

It’s hard to come up with a second choice but maybe the Group 2 Prix du Calvados winner, Wed, can chase Kelina home.


Next best: Wed

3.50 Prix de l’Opera Longines (Group 1) (3yo+ Fillies) 1m 2f

A big field here with four Irish fillies among a 16-strong line-up and it could get messy with so many of the leading fancies drawn out wide, including the Prix de Diane one-two, Nashwa and La Parisienne, and O’Brien’s Oaks winner Tuesday.

Given a good rest since landing her second straight Group 1 in the Nassau Stakes in July, Nashwa is taken to overcome stall 13 and prevail with La Parisienne (drawn 16) a big danger. Willie McCreery’s Insinuendo (stall nine) seems to be improving fast at the age of five and could overturn recent Curragh placings with Joseph O’Brien’s Above The Curve (stall five) to also be involved in the finish.

The Irish contingent is completed by Harrington’s Trevaunance (stall 11), who did brilliantly to win two Deauville group races in August but has much more on her plate in this company.


Next best: La Parisienne

4.25 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp Longines (Group 1) (2yo+) 5f

Ado McGuinness’s reigning champion A Case Of You heads a 19-strong line-up alongside the flying two-year-old filly The Platinum Queen, who was runner-up in the Group 1 Nunthorpe.

It looks a betting minefield but I don’t expect either a first juvenile winner since 1978 or just a fifth home win in the last 43 years – the French saddle only three members of the field.

Perhaps Flotus, third in the Group 1 Flying Five last time, can cap the good recent run for the father and son Simon and Ed Crisford training team. Czech raider, Ponntos, could go well at a massive price.

SELECTION: FLOTUS Next best: Ponntos

5.00 Qatar Prix de la Foret (Group 1) (3yo+) 7f

Calmer waters for this final Group 1, with just 10 runners including New Energy and Tenebrism. It could turn into a shoot-out between Ralph Beckett’s five-year-old Kinross, a seven-furlong specialist with three Group 2 scores at that trip to his name, and the two-years-younger Tenebrism, winner of the Prix Jean Prat. Youth may have its day.