ParisLongchamp Sunday

2.50 Emirates Poule D’essai des Pouliches (Group 1) (3yo Fillies) 1m

I have always been of the opinion that the one-mile classic races are often the hardest Group 1 races of the entire season to predict, given how quickly the condition, both of a thoroughbred and of a racecourse, can change at this time of year.

The shock results of both of the Rowley Mile’s two premier races last weekend was just another example of what I mean.

So, with the going in Paris finally likely to dry out to close to good for tomorrow’s ParisLongchamp card, having been riding testing pretty much all spring, it is hard to get excited about any of the favourites for the French equivalents of those two Newmarket classics.

Throw in the added danger of trouble-in-running when double-figure fields are racing around a bend at this distance, and the possibility of having you chance compromised by an outside draw, and it would take a very brave punter to be wagering a big stake at a short price.

The Poule d’Essai des Pouliches market leader, Romantic Style, has been drawn wide and has big stamina doubts hanging over her despite having proved her fitness during her half-length success in a seven-furlong Group 3 Prix Imprudence that was very much a test of speed.

That form was given a huge boost in last Sunday’s 1000 Guineas when both the second and third, Ramatuelle and Tamfana, ran with great credit in finishing third and fourth, Ramatuelle having possibly kicked for home too soon and Tamfana having been repeatedly denied a clear run at a crucial stage.

Step up in distance

There is little in this Night Of Thunder filly’s pedigree to suggest that this step up in distance is what she needs and her trainer, Charlie Appleby, has made public his own doubts on that score, not only in words but in his determination to run here rather than in the more demanding British equivalent.

However, if one Night Of Thunder filly makes little appeal at current odds, another does in the shape of the Willie McCreery-trained Vespertilio.

She had top class juvenile form, having followed a Group 2 success with a fine second place in the Group 2 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and should appreciate this step up to a mile.

The other Irish raider, Aidan O’Brien’s Content, certainly merits her place in the field after making relentless progress last season and looking a shade unlucky to finish only fourth at the Breeders’ Cup when last seen in November.

The Ballydoyle maestro is experiencing a slow start to his campaign by his own high standards, and most of his three-year-olds are needing their comeback races.

Of the other overseas contenders, the unbeaten Italian import Folgaria deserves praise for winning the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes on her British debut but there are mixed messages about the strength of that form and Folgaria will not be suited by the drying ground, a comment that applies even more to the George Boughey-trained mudlark Chic Columbine, while Brian Meehan’s Kathmandu does not look good enough.

Of the home team, Jean Claude Rouget’s unbeaten Siyouni filly Louise Procter has never tackled Stakes company yet but is set to be sent off at a stingy price, and it is another by the same sire, the provincially-trained See You Around, who offers each-way value at juicy odds.


Next Best: See You Around

3.30 Emirates Poule D’essai

des Poulains (Group 1) (3yo Colts) 1m

Aidan O’Brien is represented by two more seasonal debutants, Henry Longfellow and Diego Velazquez, in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.

It is hard to be negative about Henry Longfellow’s form or ancestry, given that he won all three of his 2023 starts with ease including the Group 1 National Stakes, and is by Dubawi out of the seven-time top level scorer Minding.

Yet he will surely be less than cherry-ripe for this first run in eight months, and a flat mile around a bend on decent ground may offer him an insufficient test of stamina.

Similar comments apply to his stablemate, who bombed out badly, albeit on heavy ground, in the Futurity Stakes on his only previous Group 1 appearance, and whose four best half-siblings, including Broome, excelled at distances of a mile and two furlongs and beyond.

John and Thady Gosden also saddle two foreign raiders in a field of 13, but, despite Eben Shaddad and Orne both having the advantage of recent outings, they need to step up markedly on what they have showed so far to be competitive here, while Roger Teal’s Dancing Gemini may have achieved less in a wide margin Doncaster listed success last Septe ber than appeared to be the case at the time.

The big course and distance trial, the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau, is often the key to this race, and could well be again this year.

The race-fit Ramadan made all to win that event by a comfortable three-quarters of a length, but trainer Yann Barberot has made little secret of the fact that he has trod very carefully this spring with how hard he has been working the runner-up, Beauvatier, and there is a good chance that he could reverse that form four weeks on.


Next Best: Ramadan

4.05 St Mark’s Basilica

Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Group 2) (3yo Fillies) 1m 2f

Andre Fabre may crush the dreams of the young Irish-born, Chantilly-based trainer Gavin Hernon of gaining his first Group 2 triumph with Dare To Dream by notching a ninth Prix Saint-Alary victory with the once-raced Zoffany filly Cashanda.


Next Best: Dare To Dream