Friday, 12th Jun 2020
The feature race at Chantilly on Sunday is the extended 1m 2f Group 1 Prix Ganay (13:25), and Shaman appeals most.
Trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, the four-year-old Shamardal colt beat re-opposing trio Way To Paris, Simona and Sottsass in the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt at Longchamp.
He made most of the running and kept on strongly for a three-quarters of a length victory. The runner-up has won a Group 2 at Deauville since when stepped up in trip which gives the form a solid look.
There were no excuses for the disappointing favourite Sottsass beaten a couple of lengths in fourth. As they all meet off the same terms, there is no reason why Shaman cannot confirm the form.
France’s champion jockey Maxime Guyon is once again on board. Shaman therefore appeals most for the Prix Ganay which is virtually a carbon copy of that earlier race.
In the 1m 7f Group 2 Vicomtese Vigier (14:50), Call The Wind can complete the hat-trick. Trained by Freddy Head for George Strawbridge, this leading French stayer beat old rival Holdthaisgreen again last time out.
That followed a valuable handicap success out in Saudi Arabia on reappearance. Although far from decisive in the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville at Deauville, Call The Wind wore down the long-time leader by staying.
While he meets the runner-up off 2lb worse terms, Call The Wind is two years younger than Holdthaisgreen. The third, fourth and last home all re-oppose in the Prix Vicomtese Vigier here.
As with Shaman, Call The Wind should confirm form then. In this race last year when held at its traditional home of Longchamp, he finished well ahead of Holdthaisgreen off level weights.
The terms remain in Call The Wind’s favour and jockey Olivier Peslier has won two of his three rides on him. He therefore gets the nod for another victory over familiar rivals.
In the other Group 1, the 1m 2f Prix Saint-Alary for three-year-old fillies (15:25), the undefeated Tawkeel is one to consider each-way.
This is a trappy renewal of a race which trainer Jean-Claude Rouget has won five times before. In Tawkeel, he has a Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum owned daughter of Teofilo who has won all three starts this year.
While those have been in minor events, the runner-up in the last of those, Wangari, has come out and landed a Listed contest. That gives the form a timely boost.
Although Andre Fabre’s Savarin beat subsequent French 1000 Guineas heroine Dream And Do last season, that rivals lack race fitness. The same cannot be said for Tawkeel.
Savarin also has a poor run at the end of last season to overcome. The other main rival to Tawkeel is Magic Attitude, who improved on her juvenile form with a two-length Group 3 success at Longchamp.
That form lacks any strength, however, so at the odds on offer Takweel looks worth chancing to take a big step up in grade. She will hope to hit the frame minimum in the Prix Saint-Alary.