International

Back

Can Fabre upset Mother Earth's bid for more Guineas glory

3.25 Longchamp
The Emirates Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Group 1) | 1m [Grande Piste] | 3yo fillies | SKY

To have one Newmarket Classic winner rock up at Longchamp for the French version later the same month is unusual but Sunday's card has the distinction of featuring the winner of the 1,000 Guineas, who will be appearing just 35 minutes after the 2,000 hero Poetic Flare. 

Mother Earth was the less heralded of Aidan O'Brien's two runners in the 1,000 Guineas a fortnight ago but she showed class and no little ring craft in comparison to her once-raced stablemate Santa Barbara and ran out a worthy winner under Frankie Dettori. 

Few fillies have attempted to double up in Paris but the daughter of Zoffany reappeared quickly a couple of times in a congested juvenile campaign, allaying any fears this test may follow on too soon from Newmarket. 

Miss Amulet was beaten just a neck by Mother Earth at the Breeders' Cup and showed speed and class during an excellent campaign at two.

If the Guineas is rarely a race whose form is tested so soon in the Poule d'Essai, the two most reliable yardsticks historically are both problematic this time round. France's leading two-year-old contest for fillies, the Prix Marcel Boussac, was a stock car race with horses, with the likes of Fev Rover – fourth in the Guineas – and King's Harlequin getting wiped out in the straight. 

If that form is subject to revision then what should we make of the Prix de la Grotte, which was run at a funereal pace and the winner of which, Cirona, is waiting for the Prix de Diane Longines next month. 

The Prix Imprudence is France's other major trial and, while Reina Madre sprang a surprise on her first start since transferring to Mauricio Delcher Sanchez from Madrid-based Alvaro Soto Loring, she showed a decent turn of foot on the quick turf over seven furlongs. 

Philomene has been the talk of the sparsely populated Parisian tracks this spring and drops down in trip after breezing to success over an extended mile and a quarter in the Prix Penelope. Andre Fabre's confidence in the half-sister to the globetrotting Magic Wand and Irish Oaks winner Chicquita may be enough to make her favourite over Mother Earth, which you can either take as a huge vote of confidence or a major opportunity to grab some value with the Coolmore filly. 

Miss Amulet has just a neck to find
Ken Condon is not one of those trainers who will have welcomed the arrival of rain in Paris this week but he sends seasonal debutant Miss Amulet, who had just about the best form of any in the field at two. 

Miss Amulet beat Sacred to land the Lowther at York and then found only Alcohol Free too strong in the Cheveley Park, before rounding off her year with a fine third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf.

At Keeneland she went down to Mother Earth by just a neck and while the winner Aunt Pearl let the form down on her return to action, Condon can be confident that a turning mile is within Miss Amulet's compass.

Ioritz Mendizabal must overcome a tricky draw in stall 13 from where Condon is concerned the daughter of Sir Prancealot may not be able to blast off in her normal fashion.

"She's burdened with a difficult draw which means her natural way of running will need to be altered which is never ideal," said Condon. 

"I also see that there is plenty of rain around. Nine years out of ten in this race the speed holds up as it's always good or good to firm, but it looks like it will be on the slow side on Sunday, which is a negative.

He added: "She has trained very well up to the race and will take her chance as she needs to get her season started."  

What they say
Carlos Laffon-Parias, trainer of Silvestri
She's progressing well. You can't draw any real conclusions from the Grotte where you could throw a handkerchief over them at the finish. She's still improving and I'll be disappointed if she is not there at the finish. On breeding soft ground shouldn't be an issue.  

Charley Rossi, trainer of Tiger Tanaka
Her two races this season haven't gone well and she got knocked about in both and in the second, my instructions to the leader and to my wife [Jessica Marcialis] were to ensure they went a decent gallop but that all went wrong. We come into this with no pressure and she's badly drawn on the outside so we'll try and get a good start. She's in better form but you should treat it like it's her first run of the year. 

Francis Graffard, trainer of Sweet Lady
She won the Camargo well and then in the Grotte she ran well, when everyone finished in a heap. I was delighted she didn't have a hard race and she's come out of it very well. She's in top form and the rain is welcome. She's drawn in one and I hope she can profit from that and not be too far away from the leaders. 

Andre Fabre, trainer of Philomene and See The Rose
Philomene has the pedigree of a mile-and-a-half horse but there is the influence of three top-class milers in Dubawi, Dansili and Zafonic so I think she's got the speed for this. She gives the impression she can follow a decent pace easily and then accelerate. She has a lot of class and I'll be disappointed if she's not there at the finish. See The Rose ran well on both occasions this season and has a sharp turn of foot. She needs a good trip to be there but she has the class to win. 

Cedric Rossi, trainer of Rougir
She needed the race before the Grotte and while she got no run late on, she didn't have a hard race. She has won on soft ground but if it get's really testing, then I don't know. My impression is she'll cope but you don't know for sure. 

Nicolas Clement, trainer of King's Harlequin
She was under pressure early in the straight during the Prix de la Grotte but then she hit her stride and so I have no doubts on the stamina score. Soft ground didn't bother her in the Prix du Calvados but the enormous concern is that she is drawn 14 of 14. She has a good jockey and has plenty of experience herself and she knows Longchamp by heart. 

Mauricio Delcher Sanchez, trainer of Reina Madre
The Imprudence probably came a bit soon for her but despite that she ran very well and has strengthened up since. The filly had a run round the track before racing the other day for experience as Longchamp takes some knowing but it wasn't anything to bring her forward in terms of condition. I don't expect the ground will be really soft and I don't think it will be a problem.

Share/Bookmark