Prix de Diane Longines (Group 1) | 1m2½f, 3yo fillies | SKY
With the great recent record of three-year-old fillies in the big end-of-season showdowns, including the Arc, Chantilly's version of the Oaks takes on ever-greater significance, with this year's edition looking a strong race.
Siyarafina out to defy wide draw
The revelation of the French season so far, Siyarafina is three from three and represents connections who know all about winning the Prix de Diane Longines: owner-breeder the Aga Khan has a record seven to his name, one more than trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre.
Siyarafina appeared to put doubts about her stamina to rest in the Prix Saint-Alary, but jockey Christophe Soumillon must overcome being drawn 16 of 16.
"I am very pleased with her preparation but I don't know how she will get on from that outside draw," said Royer-Dupre. "On ground with a bit of give it might be a little less serious, but still you can't go wide the whole way round.
She worked on the racecourse a couple of times at two and once at the beginning of this season, while she handled Longchamp so I'm not worried about the track."
Nausha and Entitle reprise York clash
Nausha was a shock winner of the Musidora at York, holding off Entitle and Frankellina, but trainer Roger Varian was not among those caught by surprise.
"We liked her last year and the fillies' novice at Newbury she won was quite a good race," said Varian. "She probably hadn't come to herself when we ran her at Kempton, but we were dipping our toe to see if we might have a Guineas filly.
"We chose to put a line through that and she bounced back in the Musidora. It was a good performance and she was strong through the line. I think she may be better now than going into York. She's a big filly and is still strengthening so, after only three starts, there is every reason to be hopeful of a big performance."
A Dansili half-sister to Enable, Entitle was also making her first start at stakes level in the Musidora and lost nothing in going down by a neck.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, said: "She took a little time to come to hand this year and we were debating about whether she wants a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half.
"She ran a blinder at York, showing enough speed at a mile and a quarter and has come on since that run. She's taking a big step up and is drawn in 13, which is probably not perfect, but as long as the ground isn't too soft we'd be hopeful."
Record of Musidora winners in the Diane since 2000
Rouget finds four runners hard to split
Jean-Claude Rouget has become the maestro when it comes to the two Chantilly Classics and has an extraordinary hand to play in his search for a fifth Diane since 2009.
Poule d'Essai des Pouliches runner-up Commes is the choice of Cristian Demuro, while Ebony (Jean-Bernard Eyquiem) also comes here off a fast-finishing second to Channel over the course and distance.
Etoile and Cartiem each won their trials at Saint-Cloud with some comfort, and have deluxe substitute riders in the shape of Mickael Barzalona and Japan-based Christophe Lemaire.
Rouget said of his quartet: "Commes wasn't fully wound up for her comeback and yet she ran very well, as she did in the Poule d'Essai. I think this is the race for her and that she will be a little better over 2,100 metres than over 1,600 metres.
"Ebony I've always liked and she did just what we hoped for in her prep race against tough opposition and that was enough to book her place. I think she's still progressing.
"Etoile came through a little later than I had anticipated and it's difficult when you don't get a run into them at two, as she might not be as race-hardened as some. But she has done everything we've asked of her and has only been beaten once.
"It's a similar story with Cartiem, who has done everything required of her this year and will come into this with freshness on her side. The one thing I don't have is any kind of collateral form between the four of them."
What the other trainers say
Francis Graffard, trainer of Channel
She had to win last time in the style she did in order to prove she had the right to run in the Diane. She has come on again, she is well drawn and the ground will be fine. She worked well on the racecourse earlier this week and she has everything in her favour. I don't yet know how good she might be.
Fabrice Chappet, trainer of Noor Sahara
I think she'll stay 2,100 metres and the main priority is that she relaxes. From that point of view Olivier Peslier is the ideal partner for her. Stall ten is fine because she'll be held up to make the most of her finishing kick.
Amarena won the Listed Prix de la Seine in the style of a very smart filly and has since been puchased by Japanese owner Masaaki Matsushima, meaning Yutaka Take will take the ride
Yutaka Take rode her work on Wednesday and was satisfied with her. She's only run twice and might lack a little maturity for a race like this, but I think she'll run well. The softer the ground the better for her as I really think she's a filly for the autumn.
Nicolas Clement, trainer of Wonderment
I've been very happy with her work. She's in excellent condition and her coat looks good. She's come on for her comeback run and I hope she can demonstrate that progress. Some of my horses have been sick, but I don't think she was affected and she's really pleased me these last few weeks.
Carlos Laffon-Parias, trainer of Platane
She tripped last time and I hope that was the reason she ran poorly. I prefer to hang my hat on her previous win, since the Saint-Alary was too bad to be true. She's worked well since.