The feature meeting of the day on Thursday is Longchamp and our man Matt Trounce talks through the high-quality card with two group races taking centre stage.
Earlier in the week they had their trials for 2000 and 1000 Guineas but it’s now time for the middle- distance horses to come out and show their worth ahead of future targets.
Prix La Force (10:40)
At 10.40 is the Prix La Force for colts and geldings over 9f which is often used as a stepping stone for the Prix Du Jockey Club (French Derby). While at 11.10 the fillies get their turn over the same course and distance in the Prix Vanteaux. Whoever wins that is likely to shoot towards of the top of the market in the Prix Diane (French Oaks).
Trainer to watch
Andre Fabre is the most successful trainer in the Prix La Force having sent out the winner eight times.
He’s represented by Ocean Atlantique who oozed class when winning his maiden by eight lengths when last seen. He carries the colours of Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith and could even be a contender for Epsom Derby if he wins well here. The same connections ran Pour Moi in this race in 2011 before tasting success at Epsom two months later.
It won’t be a walkover though with all the top connections represented. Another Sky is quickly stepped up to Group three company after winning his maiden on the all-weather last time.
The eye-catching thing is he’s a half-brother to the exceptional Almanzor who won the French Derby in 2016 before going on to take both the Irish and QIPCO Champions stakes.
The Prix Vanteaux (11.10)
The Prix Vanteaux has attracted nine runners this season and the big two in the market at Emoji and Flightly Lady.
Emoji bolted up in her maiden in Germany before being bought by Team Valor and sent to Monsieur Graffard. She has already had a run this season when comfortably taking a listed race on her stable debut and with the ground set to be testing, her fitness could be a big advantage.
Her main rival looks to be Flighty Lady who has switched to Jean-Claude Rouget since her two-year old season. As a two-year-old, she won once before finishing third in both a Group three and Group one (Prix Marcel Boussac) at the backend of the season.
The trainer switch must be seen a positive and she should give Emoji plenty to think about it.
There are also two listed races on the card as well as plenty of competitive handicaps with the action kicking off from 10.10am UK time.
In the 12.50, 1.25, 2.00, 2.35 and 3.10 we will be offering an extra place (1/5 1-2-3-4-5) if at least 16 go to post.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.