French raiders prepare St James's Palace challenge
19 Jun 2012 | France has taken the St James's Palace Stakes only twice since it gained Group status in 1971, but there is a strong challenge in Tuesday's contest, with connections of Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Lucayan evidently confident of a big performance.
The Classic winner was supplemented for the St James's Palace at a cost of £25,000, and he will have to finish third or better in a huge field of 16 to recoup that outlay.
Trainer Francois Rohaut told the Racing Post on Monday: "Like his father [Turtle Bowl] he doesn’t want it really heavy but soft ground won’t bother him. He’s very well, he’s travelled well and I think he’ll run well."
The negative, Rohaut conceded, was a wide draw in 14, but even if that does for Lucayan, France could still easily carry off the £250,000 prize as Mikel Delzangles is double-handed with Dragon Pulse and Hermival.
The French trio are all around the 10-1 mark, with the betting headed by Power, whose trainer and jockey Aidan and Joseph O'Brien are generally 4-6 and 7-4 to finish the week as leading horsemen.