Prix d'Ispahan Preview: Parlour a thing of Beauty

Sir Henry Cecil: Trainer of Beauty Parlour.

Timeform's Matt Gardner takes a look at some quality action at Longchamp on Sunday...

"Beauty Parlour's debut for Cecil is best forgiven, as that clearly wasn't her running, and she doesn't have all that much to find with the colts when taking into account her weight allowance..."

The Prix d'Ispahan, won in recent years by the great Goldikova, features a quality field for the 2013 renewal, headed by the Marco Botti-trained Planteur. The six-year-old, who put up one of his best efforts when finishing second to Golden Lilac in this event last year, was last seen finishing third to Animal Kingdom in the Dubai World Cup. He ought to appreciate this return to calmer waters and is likely to go close if recapturing the pick of his form. 

Planteur's main rival appears to be last year's Prix du Jockey Club and Prix Niel winner Saonois who, although unable to return to that level of form in three starts subsequently, shaped with promise on his seasonal reappearance in the Prix Ganay last month. Like Planteur, he needs to return to his best but, were he to do so, he would certainly be in with a chance of landing the spoils.

Were both Planteur and Saonois to perform below expectations, one that may capitalise is Beauty Parlour, trained by Sir Henry Cecil. Trained in France for the majority of last season by Elie Lellouche, Beauty Parlour looked a high-class filly in the making when landing the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and was arguably unlucky not to follow up in the Prix de Diane. Her debut for Cecil is best forgiven, as that clearly wasn't her running, and she doesn't have all that much to find with the colts when taking into account her weight allowance. 

Of the remainder, Prix Ganay runner-up Maxios will be suited by this slight drop in trip, having not seen out the trip at Longchamp quite as strongly as would have been expected, whilst Don Bosco, winner of the Group 2 Prix du Muguet last time, is a consistent front-runner but could be found out in this higher grade. 

It is worth taking a quick look at the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier, due off at 15:10, as Ascot Gold Cup entrant Last Train looks to establish himself as one of the leading stayers this season. The four-year-old boasts some strong form from last year, acquitting himself well in several of the top races restricted to the classic generation, and though he didn't need to be at his best when making a winning reappearance in the Prix de Barbeville last month, he was impressive nonetheless. 

The suspicion is that Last Train could take off as a stayer this term and, with him remaining unexposed, he appeals as one to keep on side in the coming months. 

Recommendations:
Back Beauty Parlour in the Prix d'Ispahan
Back Last Train in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier

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