Deauville is the focus this afternoon, with two Group races and two Listed contests. Racing journalist Patrick Weaver previews the card...
"The extra furlong should be perfect for the son of American Pharoah who won over a mile at Saint-Cloud on heavy as a two-year-old."
The Grand Prix de Chantilly at 16:00 is the principal race at Deauville.
Last June, when it was staged at the home of the French Derby, it went to Roger Charlton-trained Aspetar, with Ziyad (20/1) and Folamour (7/2) second and fourth.
Ziyad has moved up a gear
Ziyad is Evens favourite today, as he has really taken off in the last 12 months. He was beaten by John Gosden's Coronet in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud - with Lah Ti Dar and Aspetar, third and fourth. He won the Grand Prix de Deauville with Villa Rosa back in fourth and then went to Toronto where he was beaten under a length when sent off favourite for the Pattison Canadian International.
Four of these ran in the Prix d'Harcourt at Longchamp the day racing resumed this month. The race went to Shaman, a stablemate of Ziyad. Way to Paris was second, Villa Rosa fifth, Royal Julius sixth and Folamour seventh.
French King hasn't won in France for over two years but has picked up around £1million from two wins in Qatar, and Group 1 and 2 victories in Germany. He is officially rated 118, whereas Ziyad is 116, but I would expect Ziyad to come out on top given his good record on the Paris circuit.
Bat's the way I like it
The Group 2 sprint at 16:35 is an absolute nightmare for a tipster. The leading seven have all taken each other on in the last 12 months with varying results.
At Longchamp on heavy last May, Sestilio Jet beat Batwan, Ken Colt and Gold Vibe. A month later in this race at Chantilly on good, Sestilio Jet was runner-up to Inns Of Court, with Gold Vibe fourth.
In July, Ken Colt gained his second win here at Deauville when he made all to beat Robert Cowell's Pocket Dynamo, Gold Vibe and Red Torch. In the autumn, Gold Vibe twice finished in front of Sestilio Jet.
This month they all met on very soft going in the Group 3 Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp, where the order home was Batwan, Gold Vibe, Sestilio Jet, Red Torch, Ken Colt, Tour To Paris and the favourite We Go.
Batwan has only had the two runs over five furlongs, and has finished first and second. Ken Colt has the best course record but has not won at this level.Gold Vibe has not won since 2017 - and never over five furlongs - but only lost the 2018 Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye in a photo to Mabs Cross. Using these facts, Batwan is the selection. Ken Colt is each-way value at 8/1.
Ocean faces simple task
The first of the two Listeds earlier on the card at 14:40 should go to the favourite trained by Andre Fabre, Ocean Atlantique.
The Coolmore-owned colt was staying on well at the finish when runner-up to the 2,000 Guineas favourite Pao Alto over nine furlongs. The extra furlong should be perfect for the son of American Pharoah who won over a mile at Saint-Cloud on heavy as a two-year-old. This is a weak race of its kind, with Ocean Atlantique the only one dropping in class.
Hayzum and Nobody's have finished unplaced in Listed company. Irska, Alfareeq and Lord Achilles have yet to contest a Listed race, let alone a Group race.
Ocean Atlantique will either make all or sit behind and pick the others off as and when Pierre-Charles Boudot says go. it is impossible to oppose him but at 4/11 on the Sportsbook he will only appeal to those who want to 'buy' money.
Golden Crown can confirm Chantilly form
The Listed Prix des Lilas over a mile at 15:25 is far trickier. It is, in effect, a consolation prize for fillies not good enough to run in the 1,000 Guineas over the same distance on Monday. Cue Golden Crown who was beaten in a photo in a Classic trial at Chantilly by Simeen, a 7/2 shot for tomorrow's race.
Alexis Badel's mount exceeded market expectations - she was eight times the odds of Bionic Woman - but there was no fluke about it. Andre Fabre's runners were underperforming at the time, so Bionic Woman should be forgiven, but there can be no doubt that Golden Crown has trained on.
Secret Time was prominent throughout the Group 3 she ran in at Longchamp, and came out on top in a five-way photo for second behind Savarin.
It is surprising to see Beaute Pour Toi at 9/2 overnight as the maiden for unraceds that she won impressively at Saint-Cloud has yet to be tested. She may have beaten quantity rather than quality.
Porcelaine and Chorba are others that won maidens for unraced fillies. Neither has done anything of note since. Passefontaine was runner-up in a Listed on the all-weather here at Deauville. Shenouni stayed a mile when in training in Germany. She was well-beaten in the only Group 3 she contested.