The 2.00pm at Chantilly is a maiden over 12 furlongs for three-year-old fillies which looks on paper to be between the two local powerhouses of Andre Fabre and Francis-Henri Graffard.
Graffard’s Secret Sky only made her racecourse debut a month ago over this trip at Saint-Cloud, finishing a good second in very soft ground to the well-touted Qarasha, who was extremely well-backed that day and has since been tried in Group company.
On that form Secret Sky holds Take Me Away and she ought to cope with a faster surface today as her dam won on firm ground at Yarmouth for John Gosden.
Manisha is also towards the head of the betting having improved significantly on her juvenile form to finish 2nd to Regalis over this course last month at 24-1 and earn a lofty rating of 40.0 – good enough to win almost any maiden in Paris.
Secession is respected as a half-sister to super stayer San Huberto but she looked short of gears on debut and surprisingly made just €35,000 as a yearling, despite being out of Group Three winner Sediciosa.
Assyrian Queen’s form doesn’t look the most appealing on paper but if you dig beneath, I think she has a really attractive profile and is well up to winning a maiden. A full sister to Babylone, out of a Galileo mare, she was quick enough as a juvenile to finish on place ahead of Malavath over six furlongs at Deauville in August and it was no disgrace that she failed to concede 2.5kg to her stablemate (and jockey Hugo Besnier is obviously unable to claim this year).
She was entered in the Prix Marcel Boussac which may have been speculative, but she clearly showed plenty at home and her Dubawi half-sister soon made €2,400,000 as a yearling on the back of her debut and Babylone’s big win.
Assyrian Queen ran down the field on her next start but I thought her return to action last month was pleasing. She was given a tender reintroduction by Mikael Barzalona and despite being boxed in on the far rail until late on, when she finally found daylight she responded well for a single tap to go down by just a couple of lengths in fifth.
Her sister Babylone came alive over 12 furlongs last year, winning the Group Two Prix de Malleret and I think that the Haras Voltaire team, who are also behind French fashion house Zadig&Voltaire, have plenty to look forward to this summer with Assyrian Queen. She could come alive today over the trip with the benefit of a run under her belt.
2.00pm Chantilly 2pt win Assyrian Queen @ 100/30 (generally available)