Victor Ludorum a worthy favourite for Longchamp Classic trial
Victor Ludroum has leading form claims of continuing his unbeaten record in the 1m Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau for three-year-olds at Longchamp as horse racing in France resumes on Monday (11:55).
Trained by Andre Fabre for powerful global owners Godolphin, this son of the late Shamardal made rapid progress last season. In Victor Ludorum, these influential connections have a dual course and distance winner.
After landing his debut here in Paris in a mile maiden, he followed-up in a conditions contest with another comfortable victory at Chantilly.
Victor Ludorum clearly looked an above average sort as a juvenile, but proved himself something special on his final start of last season.
Pitched in at the deep end for the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc weekend, he delivered. After racing in midfield but in touch with the leaders, Victor Ludorum made headway with less than two furlongs left.
He hit the front 100 yards from home and kept on strongly for a three-quarters of a length victory. That winning margin doesn’t demonstrate how easily Victor Ludorum put the race to bed.
The runner-up, Alson, has since confirmed form with the third home, Amrory, in a Group 1 match over 7f at this venue. Armory had been hotly progressive in Ireland last term before bumping into English 2000 Guineas favourite Pinatubo.
There looks little to fear from the re-opposing fourth, Ecrivain, for Victor Ludorum here. He is thus fully expected to land the Prix de Fontainebleau and cement his status as a Classic contender.
Handler Fabre has won the race 10 times before and Godolphin have owned three of the last four winners. Despite short odds, there is simply nothing not to like about the profile of Victor Ludorum in this.
Helter Skelter the forecast choice
Helter Skelter was fifth in the Lagardere, but nearest at the finish. He is fancied to reverse form with Ecrivain after winning here and a Listed contest at Deauville last term.
Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget won the Prix de Fontainebleau in 2017 with Brametot. Helter Skelter scored over 7f on debut at this venue.
Although then beaten next time out, this Wootton Bassett colt appreciated the step up to a mile on his third start. The way he ran on strongly and readily suggested he was above Listed class.
There is very little on the Lagardere form with Ecrivain to find. That re-opposing rival had nothing more to give in the final 50 yards and was lucky to hold on to fourth place.
Carlos Laffon-Parias’s charge pulled hard at times last season too. There is reason enough to take Ecrivain on with Helter Skelter, but bookmakers also believe he will reverse form as they have him at a shorter price.
Both horses closest to Victor Ludorum in the betting won first time out last term. A tricast involving the Lagardere trio is one angle into the Prix de Fontainebleau for punters, but there are other form lines to consider.
Pisanello potential each-way value in Prix de Fontainebleau
Of those with the benefit of a run under their belts, Pisanello is one to consider each-way. Trained by Fabrice Chappet, this son of Raven’s Pass is two from two over a mile.
Both of those victories for Pisanello came on heavy ground at Saint-Cloud. He won a Listed race there on reappearance by a head over The Summit, who re-opposes.
Memory Dream and Kenway, who were fourth and fifth in that race in March, also go for the Prix de Fontainebleau. There is no reason why Pisanello shouldn’t confirm form with that pair.
The Summit, meanwhile, is one of the most exposed horses in this eight-runner field after five previous starts. Tat one has also been highly tried over further.
Pisanello gets this trip, which is something Freddy Head’s Devil has to prove after running in 6f sprints all last term.
At the double figure price on offer with the bookies, Pisanello could improve again and run into a place. There could be more to come from now that he tackles Longchamp for the first time.