The Group One Prix Ganay at 15:15 is the feature race at Longchamp. Patrick Weaver previews the meeting and highlights the best bets...
"If it comes down to which filly has the better turn of foot over 10 furlongs I reckon it will be Raabihah that comes out on top."
IF backing Aidan O'Brien favourites in Group One races is your thing, you won't want to miss out on Mogul in the Prix Ganay at 15:15 at Longchamp.
His Santa Barbara is all the rage in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket 25 minutes later, but there's an even stronger case for Mogul winning.
The extended mile and a quarter is a new trip for the son of Galileo who has raced exclusively over 12 furlongs since 2019. He has had some tough tasks in those eight races, and been beaten on the three occasions he has been sent off favourite - most recently when seventh to Mishriff in the Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night.
Before that, though, he had picked up over £1million in Sha Tin in December and come fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf when the lesser fancied of O'Brien's two runners - Ryan Moore opting for the runner-up, Magical.
Pierre-Charles Boudot was in the saddle that day at Keeneland, having won the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris on Mogul here at Longchamp in September.
With Boudot claimed by Andre Fabre for Maris Australis and Moore at Newmarket, Christophe Soumillon is on Mogul for the first time. The former champ is not as good as he was at his peak, but he won the Ganay five times in a 10-year spell between 2007 and 2016 and always has his mount in the right position to win if good enough at Longchamp.
Second in the betting is Godolphin's Magny Cours. The six-year-old has only won Listed races but picked up £875,000 for his third in the recent Dubai World Cup over 10 furlongs.
Mare Australis popped up with a career-best here last month in the Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt, when second to the long odds-on shot Skalleti.
Monty, Ecrivain and Gold Trip came home in single file immediately behind him. There is no obvious reason for them to turn the tables on the runner-up who has each-way appeal at 14/1, though beating Mogul would be a big ask.
Raabihah can make a winning seasonal debut
With no other Irish or English runners on the card, the other significant prizes will be staying at home.
Raabihah is preferred to Ebaiyra in the Group 3 Prix Allez France Longines at 15:55.
Whereas all the runners in the Ganay have had a recent run, two of the four market leaders for the fillies and mares' race have not run since the Arc weekend back in the autumn.
Raabihah was a staying-on fifth in the Arc itself. Ebaiyra was third in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de Royallieu over a mile and six the day before. Both were ending their campaign on a high.
Grand Glory is a shorter price than Ebaiyra despite finishing behind her when the pair were first and third in the Prix de Pomone at Deauville last August. That's because Grand Glory was really unlucky in running - Frankie Dettori allowing her to get caught up behind a wall of horses with nowhere to go.
A case can be made for Grand Glory and Solsticia on their best form but if it comes down to which filly has the better turn of foot over 10 furlongs I reckon it will be Raabihah that comes out on top.
Fabre's Frankel filly fits the bill
The three Listed races preceding the Ganay are worth watching with an eye to the future.
The Prix Finlande at 12:58 is for three-year-old fillies that haven't won a Group race.
The conditions of the race are ideal for Andre Fabre's Petricor. The form of her Deauville debut win last August hasn't worked out particularly well but on her only subsequent start she went down by under a length here at Longchamp in a Group 3.
The one she will need to master is her market rival Sky Sister currently rated 2lb better than Petricor.
Sky Sister got her rating of 103 when beaten two necks by Rougir and Cirona in a three-way photo for the Prix des Reservoirs at Deauville in October. In her only start this season, here, she failed to make an impact in a lesser race and it is fair to say did not run up to her best.
She may have needed the race, but rather than excuse her I suggest backing Petricor to beat her.
Erasmo can remain unbeaten over seven furlongs
In the Prix du Pont Neuf at 13:33 the only Group winner in the field, Go Athletico, has to give 4lb to six winners in lesser company.
Identified, Coachello, Havoc, Early Light and Mysterious Light have yet to contest a Group race, whereas the Godolphin runner Erasmo ran second to Adhamo in the Group 3 Prix la Force over nine furlongs last month.
Erasmo won both his seven-furlong starts as a two-year old - a maiden and a Listed - and back at that trip there is a good chance that he will justify his position as overnight favourite and beat Go Athletico.
The last of the three Listed races is the Prix de l'Avre at 14:45 for three-year-olds over 12 furlongs. It is a trial for the Grand Prix de Paris over the same trip, so it is no surprise four of the six runners are entered in that Group One.
The favourite is Fenelon who only had to be pushed out to go past Soldier Rising and beat him two lengths at Lyon-Parilly in March. The runner-up, who has since won at Chantilly, had a 5lb penalty that day and doesn't now, so there should be little between them.
Sun Of Gold has won a couple of races over shorter trips in Germany. He doesn't tick any of the boxes I would want to see ticked, so I'm surprised he is next in the betting at 7/2.
The form of The Famous Five's maiden win at Fontainebleau looks better with the runner-up winning a similar contest at Saint-Cloud yesterday.
Gold is the equal of Soldier Rising and Cornicello from a handicapping point of view, being rated 94. It's an open race with none of the six 10/1 or longer, and a watching brief is recommended ahead of the Grand Prix de Paris in July.