|Saturday, 14 July 2012
: Timeform's International Editor Chris Williams takes a look at the Grand Prix de Paris, scheduled to take place at Longchamp on Saturday evening...
There are only two challengers from outside France for the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Saturday (18:50), but they both look to hold good chances of capturing the valuable prize.Main Sequence
, trained by David Lanigan, won his first four races before finishing second to Camelot in the Derby at Epsom last time, grabbing second off Astrology right on the line. Not surprisingly, that form falls short of that shown by the best recent winners of the Grand Prix de Paris, but it still would have been good enough to be have won half of the last ten runnings.
Aidan O'Brien's representative is Imperial Monarch
, who will be attempting to make up for his luckless run in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly last time. Racing well off the pace, he was one of the worst sufferers in the trouble that took place after the home turn, denied a run up the rail and having to be taken wide before finishing best in the face of a hopeless task from his position- a detached last-but-one two furlongs out- to finish eighth of the 20 runners. He looks sure to be suited by the extra furlong and a half and he's open to further progress. He'd won both his races prior to the Jockey Club, notably the Classic Trial at Sandown, where he was taken wide to avoid the worst of the heavy ground then made up a lot of leeway in the straight to get up in the closing stages.
Finishing ahead of Imperial Monarch in the Prix du Jockey Club were Saint Baudolino
(third), Top Trip
(fifth) and Hard Dream
(seventh). Both Saint Baudolino and Nutello showed improved form and were separated by just a head, the pair three quarters of a length behind the winner Saonois. Saint Baudolino was bumped, like many others in a rough race, before making progress up the rail in the straight and keeping on after being forced to switch. However, he isn't certain to stay this longer trip on breeding, despite his dam winning at the distance.
In contrast, Nutello, who wore cheekpieces in the Jockey Club but doesn't wear them on Saturday, looks sure to be suited by the step up to a mile and a half. He lost several places on the turn out of the back straight at Chantilly, but missed the trouble further behind him, and did much the best of those ridden close up. Top Trip is another who will be suited by the longer trip, having already been successful at eleven furlongs in the Prix Hocquart before staying on well in the French Derby, shaping as though the trip was barely adequate. Hard Dream won a very slowly-run Prix Noailles in April, but ran a slightly better race at Chantilly, keeping on quite well after chasing the pace.
Albion was twelfth in the Prix du Jockey Club, unable to quicken after racing prominently. He'd been beaten only a head by Kesampour in the Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud on his previous start.
Lidari has won three listed races from four starts this year, the last two in the Provinces, including the Derby du Languedoc at Toulouse on his latest outing, but will need to find plenty of improvement to figure here. A similar statement applies to Khalid Abdulla's Last Train, though he looks sure to be suited by the step up from a mile and a quarter, both on breeding and by the way he ran last time, staying on well and just failing to get up and beat Smoking Sun in a minor event at Longchamp.
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