Qatar Prix Niel Stakes – Group 2 (Class 1) (3YO only)
Winner €81,900 – 8 run
Advice: 1 pt win, 1 pt each/way Teletext (11/2 Paddy Power)
: One of the star juveniles of last season, winning the Prix Des Chene and Criterium International in the style of a top class horse, and retuned with a neck success over Karakontie (dual Group 1 winner) in the Fontianebleau; Clearly extremely smart but not been seen since and massive step up in trip even if he is bred to cope with middle distances.
Serans: Pacemaker for Ecotot as he was back in April.
Teletext: Looked a smart horse when landing maiden and conditions race in fine style on first two starts and then unlucky not to make it three on the bounce in the Prix Dy Luys when behind Guardini; Looked very exciting when making a bold move in the Grand Prix De Paris to win his race but floundered in awful ground that day and tired into third; Better expected today.
Adelaide: Ahead of Gallante (who interfered significantly with him) in Hocquart on return here (10f) and since second to Eagle Top at Ascot, and in the Belmont Derby Invitational; Entitled to land the Secretariat Stakes as he did last time, and should go well here.
Gallante: Third in Prix Noailles and Hocquart here on decent surfaces but the moment the ground turned he came into his own, winning C&D conditions over 10 furlongs with ease before then outstaying all the opposition in the Grand Prix De Paris; Today will be much harder on fast surface.
Elliptique: Twice well behind Ectot as a juvenile and pulled his race away on comeback; Only sixth in Hocqart but that due to not getting a run at any point that he needed and hard to rate with any conviction, although others today still preferred.
Vadamos: Ground sure to be no issue for this progressive type looking for a hat-trick, although today is a deep first test for him in pattern company; Others make more appeal today but no surprise to see him go well.
Guardini: Edged out Teletext for the Prix Du Lys and while he was nowhere in the Grand Prix De Paris but heavy ground no good to him and expect a bold showing today even if he may struggle to confirm that form from two starts ago.
VERDICT: As ever, a fascinating card and an important one with contenders for the Arc fluffing their lines or dropping by the wayside. He ground looks set to be decent, unlike a few renewals of this day or This trial has produced 3 winners in recent times and today will be watched by many in the circumstances. Ectot is the favourite here, but while his talent suggests he can take the beating, a 154 absence is offputting and even moreso is the fact he steps beyond a mile for the first time. He will have to be on top form to beat off a load of progressive 3yos, including Grand Prix De Paris winner Gallante. He is second favourite but was the only one suited by the horrible ground conditions and TELETEXT can reverse form on a decent surface, having come to win his race in fine style but flagged after such an effort. Gurardini, his conqueror in the Prix Du Lys, can outrun his odds and Adelaide can go well for Aidan O’Brien.