Wednesday, 13th May 2020
Flighty Lady shaped as though she would be better over further last season, so appeals for the 1m 1f Group 3 Prix Vanteaux for three-year-old fillies at Longchamp on Thursday (11:10).
Although finishing third three times at this venue when in the care of Gavin Hernon, she has since joined the Jean-Claude Rouget stable.
Her current handler is the most successful trainer in this race’s recent history with four wins since 2006. A filly by Epsom Derby winner Sir Percy, Flighty Lady ran on well in all four of her juvenile starts.
After a fine third in a Longchamp maiden on racecourse debut, she won a 7f contest at Deauville. Flighty Lady then stepped up into Group 3 company and hit the frame when staying on into third and beaten three-quarters of a length by Savarin.
She reversed form with the winner when filling the same spot behind Albigna in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc weekend here.
As Flighty Lady just couldn’t quite make second, that suggests the extra furlong here is what she needs. The change of stables and ownership also suggests big things are expected of her by new connections.
At the odds on offer, Flighty Lady gets the nod in a cracking renewal of the Prix Vanteaux. The race distance could be close to her optimum trip.
Heading the market is the unbeaten Emoji. Now trained by Francis-Henri Graffard, this daughter of Soldier Hollow is a German import who bolted up by 14 lengths on debut.
That led to a change of owner and handler as with Flighty Lady. Emoji followed-up on her impressive Baden-Baden success by landing a Listed contest over a mile at Saint-Cloud by a couple of lengths on reappearance in March.
That means fitness will not be an issue. On that form, Emoji has nothing to fear from re-opposing pair Galova and Leilani either.
She commands respect on those runs, but her stamina laden pedigree leaves the impression she wants even further. This race is a trial for the Prix de Diane – the French Oaks – which trainer and jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot won last year.
That is Emoji’s likely main target. She is opposed on her price and concerns about the stable form as Graffard hasn’t had a winner since French racing resumed.
You can make a case for a few fillies hitting the frame. Passefontaine has caught the eye when placing on her two career starts and bumped into an in-form rival last time out.
Trained by part-owner Myriam Bollock-Badel, this Wootton Bassett filly was a length third over 1m at Chantilly on debut in February. Passefontaine then ran on the all-weather again at Deauville, chasing home Bebeautiful in a Listed affair.
As she was only beaten half-a-length over an extended 1m 1f, there are no doubts about the trip. The winner was completing her hat-trick, so it was no disgrace from Passefontaine.
The Prix Vanteaux demands more, but on pedigree a nine-furlong race like this should be what she wants. Passefontaine appeals most from the possible each-way angles.