Sunday’s card at Longchamp Racecourse in France offers six G1 races. We cover the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in a special article, so this one focuses on the other events, generating horses who earn a free entry for respective Breeders’ Cup races. The richest of these races is Prix de l’Opera for three-year-old and older fillies and mares where Nashwa could draw on her stellar G1 performances.
Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
Two-year-old colts will clash in this G1 turf race over seven furlongs while fighting for the purse of €400,000. Aidan O’Brien sends in The Antarctic, who has hit the track eight times. The son of Dark Angel started off in April, bagged a maiden and a novice race, and even though his next couple of efforts weren’t anything special, he finished second in the G2 Prix Robert Papin behind Blackbeard and scored the G3 Prix de Cabourg over six furlongs.
Subsequently, he faced the elite in the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Middle Park Stakes, where he took third and second place, respectively, affirming he is a solid colt, but he lacks something to join the two-year-old stars. Moreover, The Antarctic hasn’t experienced such a distance. Despite the fact he shouldn’t have issues with the going, it’s not easy to see him winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as he was given only eight days to recover after his most recent outing.
Shartash is another interesting two-year-old here, given he triumphed in the G2 Railway Stakes over Blackbeard in June. Subsequently, he finished third in the G1 Phoenix Stakes and repeated the place in the G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes over seven furlongs.
The Johnny Murtagh bound colt won a novice race on the soft surface, and therefore, he could be suited by it more than The Antarctic, but the truth is there isn’t any remarkable progress in his performances to be seen. Therefore, the race seems quite open to the colts, who have improved since their last outings, and an upset could be expected here.
Regarding French colts, Andre Fabre relies on Belbek, who prevailed in a G3 race in June but then he met some better horses in the G2 Prix Robert Papin. Back then, he had to settle for fourth place out of six horses.
His performance in the G3 Prix de Cabourg was a bit better as he finished fifth in a field of ten participants; however, he was no match for victorious The Antarctic. Tigrais has a G3 triumph to him as he won the Prix la Rochette in September; however, he scored only by a short head over preferred Breizh Sky, a Listed winner. Looking at their results, Tigrais could actually be better once again than his rival and maybe even of all the French horses here.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|The Antarctic||Ryan Moore||+225|
|Breizh Sky||Christophe Soumillon||+600|
|Privotal Trigger||Shane Foley||+1400|
|Vicious Harry||Tony Piccone||+2500|
Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Betting Pick
Shartash, who shouldn’t be stopped by the ground, and he could return to winning ways here and ensure himself a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Prix Marcel Boussac
The purse of €400,000 lured in a field of twelve two-year-old fillies who will cover the distance of a mile. On the turf surface, French contestants have a strong chance to prevail as Wed was supplemented for the race and could add another big one to her resume.
The Maurizio Guarnieri bound bay has four starts under her belt. Upon winning her debut in June, she achieved second place and a victory among novices. Last time out, Wed faced competition in the G2 Prix du Calvados where she didn’t belong among the most anticipated fillies as her previous outings unfolded at smaller tracks, while the Graded event was held at Deauville.
However, the daughter of Profitable minded neither the fierce field nor the surface or the course as she scored it easily by two lengths. So far, Wed hasn’t covered a longer distance than seven furlongs, but she should handle it and once again better Never Ending Story.
The Aidan O’Brien bound bay also commenced her career in spring when she finished third in a maiden, then recorded her premiere win and bagged the G3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown. Over the trip of seven furlongs, Never Ending Story also went in the G2 Prix du Calvados, finishing third, upon which the daughter of Dubawi showed up in the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes.
She didn’t enjoy the soft ground in particular; moreover, her class probably wasn’t enough to snatch up better than fourth place. Therefore, she shouldn’t be discarded for Sunday’s race, yet she doesn’t look that much appealing either.
Blue Rose Cen is another filly to consider here, given she transformed three of her five starts into easy victories. The Christopher Head trained bay didn’t show much in her debut, but she smoothly delivered two wins among novices over seven furlongs and a mile soon after. The Churchill filly then just narrowly missed a Listed success at Deauville; however, in September, she aimed at the G3 Prix d’Aumale over a mile.
Back then, Blue Rose Cen benefited from her favorite softer ground and achieved her premiere Graded triumph by one and ½ of a length. Kelina is fancied strongly here because of her impressive second victory, yet she’s yet to face such a competition.
The last to mention is Aspen Grove, who was supplemented for the race by trainer J A Stack. In spring, the Justify daughter didn’t draw much attention, but after a pause in summer, she returned to the tracks in the G3 in Curragh and caused a huge upset when scoring the race in 66-1. She could be a viable player in this event if she repeats such a performance.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Never Ending Story||Ryan Moore||+500|
|Blue Rose Cen||Aurelien Lemaitre||+800|
|Aspen Grove||Jamie Spencer||+1200|
|Dandy Alys||Rob Hornby||+2000|
|Gan Teorainn||Kevin Manning||+3300|
|Start Me Up||Stephane Pasquier||+3300|
Prix Marcel Boussac Betting Pick
Wed, whose effort among the G2 company was very promising, and if she handles a softer ground, she should add another victory here and earn a free entry for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Prix de l’Opera Longines
In the field of sixteen three-year-olds and older mares, almost a whole half seem good enough to score this G1 turf race over the distance of a mile and a quarter. The purse of €500,000 attracted some awesome three-year-olds, including Tuesday, trained by Aidan O’Brien.
The Galileo daughter broke her maiden in March and then went right into the 1000 Guinea to run a great race, taking third place back then. Subsequently, Tuesday aimed at the Irish 1000 Guineas, where she was one place better, and finally, she bagged her premiere Graded victory in Epsom as she prevailed in the Epsom Oaks.
She proved capable of handling the trip of a mile and a half; however, next time out, she wasn’t entirely suited by the Irish Derby. She finished fourth, but her couple of following outings weren’t bad. Tuesday snatched the second place in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks behind Alpinista and fourth in the G1 Prix Vermeille, crossing the wire only a length and a half behind the victress.
She’s definitely a classy filly; however, the soft ground isn’t her favourite, while her stable-mate Above The Curve is quite used to it. The daughter of American Pharoah finished second in a Listed race after breaking her maiden, upon which she faced a steep climb – the G1 Prix Saint-Alary, and it was a successful attempt.
Above The Curve triumphed by a length, then received a pause for three months to return successfully in September in the G2 Blandford Stakes over a mile and a quarter. In terms of class, she might lack something to Tuesday, but she looks suited by the French style of racing.
Still, the favourite of the event could be seen in another participant – Nashwa. The three-year-old bay is trained by John & Thady Gosden, for whom she delivered four victories in 2022. She easily broke her maiden in April, then scored a Listed, and in her Graded premiere, Nashwa showed her big heart of a fighter to finish third in the Epsom Oaks.
Her next two starts resulted in victories as the Frankel daughter won the G1 Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes. Although she’s yet to face the notorious French soft ground, Nashwa looks so brave and gutsy to be able to withstand it. Progressive Trevaunance, trained by Jessica Harrington deserves a say in this race after she collected a couple of Graded wins in France, while La Parisienne aims at this event instead of the Arc into which she didn’t make the cut.
It’s a shame because she’s an interesting filly capable of further progress; she likes the ground, and given she finished second behind Nashwa in the Prix de Diane, she should be once again considered here.
The last to mention is the only four-year-old filly who is expected to play an important role, My Astra, trained by William Haggas, as she failed to win the G1 Pretty Polly Stakes just by half a length. However, she’s returning to the tracks after more than three months of the layoff. Still, whoever wins the race earns a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Above The Curve||Ryan Moore||+350|
|La Parisienne||Gerald Mosse||+400|
|My Astra||Tom Marquand||+1000|
|Place Du Carrousel||Mickael Barzalona||+2800|
|Mqse De Sevigne||Maxime Guyon||+4000|
|Fall in Love||Simon Planque||+6600|
Prix de l’Opera Betting Prediction
Nashwa, whose exploits in France raise respect; still, the field consists of numerous high-quality fillies and mares, so the British raider might find it difficult to complete a G1 hattrick here.
Prix de l’Abbaye
Nineteen sprinters aim at this G1 race, offering the purse of €350,000. Two-year-old and older horses will cover the distance of five furlongs on the turf surface, while A Case Of You looks ready to bag the race for the second time in a row.
The four-year-old bay scored his premiere G3 as a junior, earned the second one in 2021 in May, and even though his first outing among the elite didn’t go well, he quickly proved worthy of attention by placing in the G1 Flying Five Stakes. In the end, A Case Of You shone brightly in the Prix de l’Abbaye, delivering for trainer Adrian McGuinness on heavy ground. He earned some money also in the USA and even ventured to the UAE to score the G1 Al Quoz Sprint.
Still, his return to Europe resulted only in third place at the G2 scene as his following starts were strongly underwhelming. Still, he might wake up on Sunday as the combination of soft ground and the distance should suit him. Moreover, this sprint event usually favours horses jumping from the inner gates, which plays into A Case Of You’s card alongside Berneuil.
The five-year-old gelding is trained by Carlon and Yann Lerner. Being the biggest local chance in the race, Berneuil has amassed some valuable places at the G2 stage and victories in G3; however, none of his G1 efforts caught the eye.
Besides A Case Of You, the United Kingdom relies on some great fillies, including Flotus . The three-year-old bay bagged only a Listed as a junior; however, she concluded the season with an impressive second place in the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes. In 2022, trainers Simon & Ed Crisford aimed Flotus among sprinters right away, which resulted in the filly finishing third in the G1 Commonwealth Cup, scoring her premiere G3 win, and also taking great third place in the G1 Flying Five Stakes in September.
Mooneista is a solid sprinter, yet she looks a bit less classy than some of her rivals. The four-year-old bay achieved her biggest triumph in 2021 as she scored in the G2 Sapphire Stakes, while in 2022, she most notably finished fourth in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes. She also seems suited more by a firmer ground.
However, the leading victory candidate seems to be The Platinum Queen, trained by Richard Fahey, who sent the filly to a victory in a Class 2 race in Goodwood, upon which the bay finished second in the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes behind Highfield Princess.
She failed to win the G2 Flying Childers Stakes last time out, but only by a short head; therefore, she needs to be strongly considered on Sunday. If she won the race, The Platinum Queen would become only the second two-year-old who managed it as the first and last so far was Sigy in 1978.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|The Platinum Queen||Hollie Doyle||+250|
|Coeur De Pierre||Tony Piccone||+700|
|Teresa Mendoza||W J Lee||+1000|
|A Case Of You||Ronan Whelan||+1200|
|Tees Spirit||Barry McHugh||+1600|
|White Lavender||Clifford Lee||+1600|
|Castle Star||Jamie Spencer||+2000|
|New York City||Ryan Moore||+2000|
|Moss Tucker||Shane Foley||+2800|
|Mo Celita||Jason Hart||+3300|
Prix de l’Abbaye Betting Choice
A Case Of You to repeat his success and earn a free entry for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Prix de la Foret
The purse of €350,000 attracted a field of ten three-year-old and older horses who will cover the distance of seven furlongs. Most of the participants of this G1 turf race are quite interesting, given some three-year-old fillies showed lots of potential at the beginning of the season but then failed to keep their form throughout the summer.
It leaves us then with Tenebrism, who won the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes in 2021, while her 2022 debut happened in the 1000 Guineas, where she didn’t show much; still, she simply needed a couple of outings to get back into shape. In July, she was already back and won the G1 Prix Jean Romanet over seven furlongs, then succumbed only to Saffron Beach in the G1 Prix Rothschild, and finished third in the G1 Matron Stakes.
Back then, she wasn’t thrilled by the soft going, which might stop her also on Sunday. The Aidan O’Brien filly is respected here, though, alongside Sandrine, a tough three-year-old trained by Andrew Balding. As a two-year-old, the bay scored a G2 victory and was third in the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes, upon which she commenced the new season with a solid five place in the 1000 Guineas.
Still, her following outings weren’t special, so she caught the attention again in July by a brave run in the G2 Lennox Stakes over seven furlongs. Sandrine prevailed over Kinross by a neck but lost to him by almost three lengths next time out in the City of York Stakes. She’s a very gutsy filly, yet a place will probably be her maximum once again.
Mentioned Kinross could actually be the favourite here. The Ralph Beckett bound five-year-old bay didn’t pique much attention until he was gelded in 2021 because right after that, he easily scored his premiere G3 race. In July, he even bagged the G2 Lennox Stakes, while the last year’s Prix de la Foret meant a fourth place for him.
Kinross doesn’t mind the going much, which he proved in 2022 by winning among the G2 company on the firm and also soft surface, and even though he’s never been close to winning a G1, his current form might help him here. Fang could also be progressive enough to run a solid race, while the last to mention is three-year-old New Energy, second from the Irish 2000 Guineas.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|New Energy||W J Lee||+1000|
Prix de la Foret Betting Pick
Kinross, who is in form and likes the going, which could result in his victory and ensure a free entry in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
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