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A fine card at Longchamp today to get us in the mood for the Arc Trials next Sunday and then the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe itself in 4 weeks.
The opening Prix la Rochette looks like it could be the ‘French Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere’ this autumn, given the depth of entries in the October Group One from overseas. Aidan O’Brien has 14 entered!
Bolshkinov and Breizh Sky rightly head the market at 7/4 and 11/8 respectively having performed at stakes level but preference at morning prices is for Christophe Ferland’s Gamestop.
Priced at 8-1, Gamestop is from the family of Group One winner Polydream and made an explosive debut at La Teste in June against experienced juveniles. He pulled hard and flopped on his next start when stepped up in grade, but it’s interesting that days later he was still described as Ferland’s best juvenile and is the trainer’s sole entry in the Lagadere. He clearly wasn’t quite right that day but it may have been due to the wide draw, which is a disaster at La Teste.
The yard is going well, despite having to contend with local fires last month, as Copie won a blacktype race at Baden-Baden yesterday and the well-backed Times Boulevard hacked up on debut. A big run from Gamestop can be expected today on his Parisian debut.
12.15pm Longchamp – 1.5pt win Gamestop @ 8-1 (Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Sky Bet, Sport Nation, Virgin Bet and LivescoreBet, or 9-1 bet365)
The Good Man brings the best local formlines to the Group Three Prix Gladiateur, but his trainer Stephane Wattel has once again made noises in the press about his staying star having had a busy season and this is likely to be his final start of the year. His effort two weeks ago at local track Deauville was disappointing and although he has a lethal finishing kick, he looks worth opposing with a 2lb penalty today.
Ebor Handicap fourth John Leeper is well-found in the market at 15/8 but this really does look an excellent spot for him. With Ryan Moore booked, he looks primed to end his losing streak which stretches back to last May.
12.45pm Longchamp – 1pt win John Leeper @ 13/8 (almost all firms or 7/4 with William Hill or 15/8 with bet365)
Coroebus was disappointing in France last month and has to be opposed at 7/4 in the feature today, the Prix du Moulin.
The Revenant is more than just a swimmer, but the 3-1 shot will surely be building to October targets and is unlikely to have been primed for today by Francis-Henri Graffard.
He may not have the most inspiring profile, having been tried out over middle distances as a three-year-old, but Order Of Australia was beaten just over three lengths in Europe’s premier mile race, the Prix Jacques Le Marois, last month and is described by his trainer as getting faster with age. Priced generally at 7-1 or 13/2, he looks very solid for at least a place today.
2.48 Longchamp – 1pt each-way Order of Australia @ 7-1 (Ladbrokes, Coral, Sport Nation, Livescore Bet, Virgin Bet or 8-1 with bet365)
Epic Poet is the shortest priced of the French runners at 4-1 for the Prix du Prince d’Orange but I’m siding with the top-rated in the field, Vagalame. Fourth in the Guillaume d’Ornano last month, he’s been highly tried this year and has held his form well – unlike the top three in the market in this.
His Prix du Jockey Club fifth might be the pick of his form and it was notable that he was the pick of Maxime Guyon for that Classic, despite being bottom rated and his owners also running Yoozuna that day.
At 6-1 with most firms, Vagalame is at least a couple of points too big.
3.33pm Longchamp – 1pt win Vaglame @ 6-1 (Sport Nation, Quinnbet, Fitzdares, Sky Bet, Ladbrokes, Betway)
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