STAR PREVIEW Thurs: Longchamp

Racing from ParisLongchamp & Angers
Live on Sky Sports Racing HD from 10:00am
First Race: Prix de la Seine (Listed Race) (3yo Fillies) (Grande Course) (Turf) (3yo) (UK Off Time: 10:10am)


Yours truly made the wrong choice yesterday when plumping for Wanway over Wooded in the Prix Texanita, as Wooded belied his layoff to win the contest in impressive fashion. Indeed, so dominant was Francois-Henri Graffard’s colt that – assuming a full calendar – top level sprinting has to be an option regardless of whom he faces, as he put 3 & 1/2 lengths between him and the useful Alocasia, with My Love’s Passion third on the farside and beaten a further two lengths. Wanaway was only sixth, suggesting that he didn’t cope with the relatively quick ground (at least compared to his Listed win here) and things might be harder for him this summer.

The other horse to really impress on the card was Simeen, who came from the rear of the field with a steady turn of foot to take the Prix de la Pistole by a short but cheeky neck. Simeen was clearly not at full stretch in the final two furlongs and is now being aimed at the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, where she will have a leading chance if stepping forward from this effort as expected. Down the line, as a daughter of Lope De Vega and the first foal of a sister to Prix de Diane winner Sarafina, 10 furlongs looks natural as a progression. Marcel Boussac fourth Bionic Woman looked a bit flat footed before filling the same spot, but she is not one to give up on just yet as it’s clear that Andre Fabre’s horses – not unusually – are needing their return.

The Prix du Belvedere saw Reshabar cause a shock when turning over listed winner Celestin, once again from the front, although it must be noted that the runner up and hot favourite was close enough if good enough – perhaps he wants a step up in trip, more cut in the ground, or both. Third Winwood was very keen early but made some eye-catching late progress for third and should be able to pick up a race at some point if he can get a suitable opportunity.

The most visually eye-catching performance of the day came in the Prix des Veneurs, when Hurricane Ivor returned right back to his best when leading a decent field a merry dance and winning by three and a half lengths. The future looks very bright for him once again as he burned off his rivals over six furlongs but surely has the speed for five to boot. Third Marbling, who was the favourite at one point, ran creditably and will benefit from a step back up in trip having cost himself the race through drifting across the track on his debut at Compiegne.

We now return to ParisLongchamp for another top card which should take place on relatively decent ground which might ride in a similar fashion to Chantilly today; The going description is soft at the time of writing, but there is no rain set for the area and today has been dry.

We start with the Prix de la Seine (10.10) where the Hamadan Al-Maktoum trained Raabihah, an impressive debut winner at Cagnes Sur Mer in January, is currently a strong favourite. The daughter of Sea The Stars is an exciting prospect, but it looks best to see how she goes against American Apples, Annalyse, and Dilala who were third, fourth and fifth in the Listed Prix Rose de Mai at Deauville in March.

Things step up a gear with the Prix la Force (10.40) coming up next, and Mkfancy is taken to come out on top and underline his credentials for the Prix du Jockey Club. Best known as the winner of the Criterium de Saint-Cloud when he showed an impressive attitude to grind out victory, he made a promising return when second in the Prix Maurice Caillault at Chantilly on the all-weather. The winner Waltham was expected to be too good for him that day (and looks a smart prospect himself) but Mkfancy ought to improve plenty for that run and race-fitness has proven to be worth its weight in gold since racing restarted. He handles deep ground with aplomb, but on his debut he was third to none other than Victor Ludorum and his confirmed stamina should be an asset.

Wide margin Saint-Cloud maiden winner Ocean Atlantique, Listed winner Pao Alto, and impressive maiden winner Another Sky make this a fascinating contest.

The market has the Prix Vanteaux (11.10) as a contest between Emoji, the impressive winner of the Prix la Camargo (Galova two lengths second) on her first start for Francois-Henri Graffard, and Prix Marcel Boussac third Flighty Lady. Both are promising prospects but Emoji is untested on ground this quick and faces a good rival in Flighty Lady.

The Prix Zarkava – Fonds Europeen de l’Elevage (11.40) is a fascinating contest where Grand Glory’s Diane third is the best form in the race – although the race is a watching brief although all of Dariyma, Queen, Bolleville, Romanciere, Dariyza and Wonderment would not be shocking winners and it again looks one to watch.

The pattern action closes with the Prix du Pont Neuf (12.10) where Sujet Libre makes appeal. A dual winner on his first two starts last season, he bumped into a very smart horse in the shape of Alson (Group 3 winner, then second in Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere) in a conditions race at Clairefontaine before a creditable third in the Prix la Rochette, form that has bene boosted by both winner Kenway and second Wooded in the last week. A draw of 3 gives Cristian Demuro an excellent spot and whilst it’s a strong field with Arapaho and Golden Boy the key threats, he can go very close.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Mkfancy 1 pt win in 10.40 ParisLongchamp 1 pt at SP with starsports.bet
BACK Sujet Libre 1 pt win in 12.10 ParisLongchamp 1 pt at SP with starsports.bet


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