Qatar Prix Chaudenay (Group 2) (Class 1) (3YO only) (1.30) – The Aga Khan has long been fond of this race and so has Alain De Royer-Dupre – the two have won it four times together – and they hold a fine chance with Vazira today. The promising 3yo managed to get away with landing the Prix Vanetux and finishing a creditable second in the Prix Saint-Alary, but was clearly crying out for further when fourth in the Ribblesdale at Ascot – won by the subsequent Irish Oaks winner, no less – and also when inexplicably dropped back down in trip for the Nonette that Avenir Certain won last time. Unable to land a blow there, she looks to be all about staying power and a bold bid is expected now she gets a crack at a marathon trip.
Her main rival should be – as you would expect from the second favourite – Baino Hope, a horse Jean Claude Rouget describes as his best chance of the meeting. His stepping up in trip has seen a marked improvement, winning his last three by at least 2 and a half lengths including a 3 length win of the Prix Michel Houyvet last time out at Deauville. Back then he had Prix Du Lutece winner Auvray in third (with the Aga Khan’s other charge Doumaran behind him that day, and Theme Astral back in fourth) and it would be a surprise if those two positions were reversed, and while Andre Fabre’s Glaring can be expected to be close to Avuray again, it would b a surprise if Baino Hope had that form reversed.
Rio Tigre may be of interest, having finished a creditable second to Greatwood in the Prix De Reux two starts back but this is a race where any amount of contenders could get seriously involved and the German and British raiders Kaldera and Vent De Force have to be considered closely also although Vazria gets out vote.
Advice: 1 pt win Vazira (4/1 SkyBet)
Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein (Group 2) (Class 1) (3YO plus) (2.08) – La Hoguette and Veda hold the most convincing claims, with the Aga Khan charge preferred partly upon account of her much better draw. There’s a certain amount of guesswork involved with backing a horse who has not run since proving to be a huge disappointment in the Prix Sandringham but if that form is forgiven then she holds outstanding claims with Fintry (whom she beat in impressive style earlier in the year) lining up as the favourite for the Sun Chariot Stakes and Anvenir Certain having gone onto land the Diane since. Her stall of 3 over this C&D is an immense bonus and if back to form, she can take the beating.
La Hoguette, third in the Prix Jean Prat and second to Fintry in the Sandringham before that, is next best. Jean Claude Rouget’s progressive charge should play a big hand today, but her draw of 14 – widest of all – is far more of a hindrance over this course and distance than at any other over the two days.
Favourite Solow looks rapidly progressive – notably since being dropped in distance – and raced like a Group 1 horse when landing the Prix Quincey Lucien Barriere at Deauville last time out. A bold bid would be no surprise and he should be hard to kick out of the frame. Of interest at a bigger price is Kenhope, who has shown signings of returning to her best with an impressive listed win and a fourth in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last time. A plum draw again helps her chances and if at her best then she can get involved.
Zhiyi loves this C&D and holds some extremely smart from at 10 furlongs that suggests he should be respected at this distance; He makes more appeal than Decatalete who should have more to offer but looked exposed as being below the grade when last seen in the Moulin; Last year’s runner up Pinturicchio would have made a lot more appeal had he gotten a nicer berth, but even out in 11 he needs consideration. His Deauville effort, over a trip and surface that were of no use to him
Advice: 1 pt win Veda (5/1 Paddy Power), 1 pt win Kenhope (9/1 general)
Qatar Prix De Royalieu (Group 2) (Class 1) (3YO plus) (2.40) Savanne may finally have everything in a place to take a deserved Group 2 win. Her defeat to Dolniya (who had just beaten All At Sea)– previously unbeaten and then third in the Prix Vermille afterwards – reads well and her effort in the Prix Pomone last time (when ahead of Shared Account) who tries blinkers today)can be forgiven thanks to the dreadful ground – one of only two runs she has had on the surface, the other a close fifth of 18 on her juvenile debut.
Zarshana is improving all the time for her headgear, although it remains to be seen just how much of an effect that deep ground (won her last two starts on soft and very soft) has had on her progression since Savanne comprehensively beat her last time the two met. Mayhem’s taking win latest puts her in the same category of improver and she should be on the premises; Andre Fabre also runs Your Game, who stepped upto this trip for the first time and ran out an impressive winner, albeit that there is a faint leap in class that she must take now.
Berlin Berlin probably shouldn’t be as big as 16/1. A winner over Abys earlier in the season, she then went onto finish second in the Grosser Berlin Preis and can be forgiven a tame effort when last sixth behind Ivanhowe. Irish raider Euphrasia has been running well enough at the highest level but this is not exactly an easier task with stamina to prove.
Advice: 2 pts each/way Savanne (6/1 general)