It was indeed magnifique to have some quality racing from Longchamp live on Sky Sports Racing on Monday where Shaman did us a huge favour at 6/1 in the feature race the Group 2 Prix D’Harcourt. Shaman has now won first time out in all three seasons, but I would be surprised if he confirmed the form with disappointing market leader Sottass in the Gp 1 Prix Ganay on better ground back in Paris next month.
Sottass – who finished third in the 2019 Arc de Triomphe behind Waldgeist and Enable – is out to 20/1 to go two places better on the first Sunday in October on the back of his laboured effort. Enable – who remains in training as a six-year-old – is 6/1 market leader to gain a third victory in what is undeniably the best flat race in the world.
The ground was extremely testing at Longchamp on Monday and I think it is safe to assume the ground will be testing in Paris for today’s card although a fine sunny day is predicted. Six go to post for the opening listed Prix de la Seine including the unbeaten Raabihah who was an impressive winner on the all-weather at Cagnes Sur Mer on debut back in October. The filly is trained by Jean-Claude Rouget who had a disappointing first day of term on Monday but did have a good winner at Saint-Cloud on Tuesday. She could be anything but is by Sea The Stars and is not guaranteed to appreciate today’s underfoot conditions.
I’m going to take a chance on the maiden Seachange (10.10) who has finished runner up in both her starts but should have won at Fontainebleau last time when she collided with the running rail inside the final furlong. She looks certain to appreciate this morning’s step up in trip to 1m 3f given she is half-sister to a listed winner over slightly further. The selection is 5/1 with Boylesports and merits an each way recommendation.
Shaman won the Gp 2 Prix la Force 12 months ago and we have a top-class renewal today with three last-time-out winners who scored by an aggregate of 13L. Another Sky made all to make a visually impressive debut on the all-weather at Chantilly and is a brother of the brilliant French Derby winner Almanzor so there should be no problem with the transition to turf. As with Raabihah in the opening fillies’ race Another Sky is potentially top-class but he represents the yard of Freddy Head who is another trainer who had a moderate opening day on Monday and his record this week stands at 0-8 at the time of writing.
MKFancy goes unpenalised for his Group 1 juvenile win but that form looks nothing special and he was readily brushed aside by the exciting Waltham – do remember the name – on polytrack at Chantilly back in March although he was giving the facile winner 4lbs.
It was a poor race for the grade that Pao Alto (10.40) won in listed company at Bordeaux back in October but he was well on top at the line and should have today’s race run to suit given Another Sky, MKFancy and Ocean Atlantique can all make the running. The selection runs in the same colours of Shaman and represents the stable of Christophe Ferland who had a winner here on Monday but did also have a couple run below par. The selection was a best price 7/2 when betting opened on Wednesday but is now as short as 9/4 with bet365 and is 16/1 for the French Derby next month with William Hill.
Flighty Lady finished a running on third in the Gp 1 Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc Day and she has subsequently changed ownership and stables ahead of her seasonal debut in the 1m 1f Prix Vanteaux for three-year-old fillies. She looks sure to go close, but I just favour the chances of the unbeaten Emoji (11.10) who joined Francis Graffard having won a maiden in her native Germany by 14L at Baden-Baden in October. She made a winning return when making all at Saint-Cloud in listed company back in March.
The third horse did nothing for the form earlier in the week, but she was just pushed out under hands and heels to land the prize and the stable’s representatives all ran with great credit here on Monday. Flighty Lady is the best long-term prospect over further later in the year, but over 9f on soft ground in the middle of May I prefer the chance of Emoji who is a best-priced 6/4 with William Hill having been as big as 15/8 on Wednesday morning.
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