Poetic Flare lines up in the French 2000 Guineas in a bid to do the British-French Guineas double, something the stable’s Finsceal Beo was just denied achieving in 2007 in the fillies’ equivalents.
The race known locally as the Poule d’Essai des Poulains is off at 2.50pm UK time, returning to ParisLongchamp and Bolger’s charge will face a pair of juvenile champions in the shape of St Mark’s Basilica and Sealiway.
Poetic Flare clearly looks the form pick and holds certain guarantees to have trained on sufficiently to take what looks to be a weaker race here. The son of Dawn Approach has won on soft as a juvenile so even if the rain sets it, he should take all the beating at 7/4.
St Mark’s Basilica looks the ideal type for this race being a son of French sire Siyouni – whose daughter Dream And Do won the French 1000 Guineas last year in Deauville. St Mark’s Basilica is the mount of Ioritz Mendizibal and holds the title of European Champion Juvenile with an agreed rating of 120. At 11/4 I find it hard to commit to a horse we haven’t seen in public this year, given the volume of racing that has taken place already on the turf. Therefore I’m content to look elsewhere and take advantage of any bookmakers offering the four places concession for each-way wagers.
St Mark’s Basilica is Europe’s Champion Two-Year-Old for 2020, it has been announced this afternoon
🏇 Achieved rating of 120
🏇 Seventh consecutive Dewhurst Stakes winner to emerge as continent's highest-rated juvenile
🏇 Aidan O’Brien’s 11th European Champion Juvenile pic.twitter.com/3IvZ5TMUsh
— BHA Press Office (@BHAPressOffice) January 27, 2021
Sealiway has grown plenty for Frederic Rossi over the winter, who made it very clear when in conversation with Race Sharp last month that he was being trained to the minute for this race, not the Guineas Trial. Even if he finds normal improvement there is a distinct chance he will find at least one of the Irish colts too strong for him, but at the prices he looks a very solid bet to me at 8/1 based on his excellent soft-ground juvenile form and proven affinity with this course.
Three beaten horses out of the last seven renewals of the Prix de Fontainebleau tasted glory in the main event (Victor Ludorum, Olmedo and Karakontie) and it makes sense to follow the trend, with very little else making appeal on ground that could almost be riding heavy by the time of this race.
Normandy Bridge looks clearly in need of further to me, Policy of Truth wants a sounder surface and Parchemin looks well below the level needed to win a normal renewal.
My heart breaks slightly to leave out Breizh Eagle, who certainly needs better ground, but I will throw some loose change at the roughie Colosseo, given the conditions.
Colosseo is well-named, being a huge horse that is stripping fitter for each run this season. Highly-regarded for some time, his trainer believes he would have won the Prix Machado over course and distance last time in softer ground. He has no business mixing it with the Irish in this race, but I can see him running into a minor place at a huge price.
Race Sharp Verdict
Sealiway has been my favourite for this race for some time. Despite facing two formidable Irish raiders, I think he is a lock to come home in the first four and he will be carrying my each-way money.