G1 Prix de Moulin de Longchamp Chantilly, France
Europe’s top-rated miler Ribchester and progressive three-year-old Inns Of Court go for G1 glory in the G1 Prix de Moulin de Longchamp, highlight of a superb card at Chantilly, France, on Sunday, September 10.
Ribchester (Richard Fahey/James Doyle) is seeking a fourth G1 win over a mile, having stormed to victory this season in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, to add to his 2016 Prix Jacques le Marois success at Deauville.
The four-year-old Iffraaj colt rallied strongly to go down by a neck when second on his latest outing in the G1 Sussex Stakes, also over a mile, run in testing conditions at Glorious Goodwood, UK, on August 2.
Inns Of Court (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) was beaten a short-head in a thrilling finish to this year’s Prix Jacques le Marois on August 13.
The son of Invincible Spirit has won on four of his six outings, all over seven furlongs, including comfortable G3 victories in the Prix du Palais-Royal at Maisons-Laffitte on June 3 and the Prix de la Porte Maillot at Deauville on July 1.
Richard Fahey commented: “We have been very happy with Ribchester since Goodwood, when things just didn’t work out for him.
“Everything has gone well with his preparation and I was very pleased his last piece of work on Monday. He is absolutely bouncing and we expect him to run very well.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin said: “Inns Of Court produced a very good performance in the Jacques le Marois and has been in great form lately.
“This is a different test for him and he is coming up against some very good horses, but we are hoping that he can run another good race in G1 company.”
Sunday’s action at Chantilly also includes three races over a mile and a half – the G1 Prix Vermeille, the G2 Prix Foy and the G2 Prix Niel – and Godolphin is represented in all of these major pointers for next month’s G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Endless Time (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) is out to go one place better in the Prix Vermeille after finishing second 12 months ago.
The five-year-old mare returns on the back of a neck victory in the 14-furlong G3 Lillie Langtry Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on August 3.
She is joined by three-year-old New Approach filly Strathspey (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona), who got up on the line to take the 12-furlong G2 Prix de Malleret at Saint-Cloud on July 2 and was fourth behind Sobetsu in the G2 Prix de la Nonette over two furlongs shorter at Deauville on August 19.
Charlie Appleby explained: “I was delighted with the performance of Endless Time last time at Goodwood and, if she can repeat her run in this race last year, she is going to be very competitive.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard remarked: “Strathspey has come on a lot for the Prix de la Nonette and will appreciate the step back up in distance. This is going to be a tough race and we would be delighted if she finished in the first three.”
Andre Fabre sends out two four-year-olds in the Prix Foy including Cloth Of Stars (Mickael Barzalona), who makes his first appearance since completing a hat-trick of wins with a short-neck success in the G1 Prix Ganay over an extended 10 furlongs at Saint-Cloud on May 1.
Talismanic (Vincent Cheminaud) also scored at Saint-Cloud on his latest outing, taking the 14-furong G2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil on July 14, and the son of Medaglia d’Oro finished fourth in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club, run over 10 and a half furlongs, at Chantilly last year.
Three-year-old colt Avilius (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) steps up in trip for the Prix Niel following two excellent runs at G2 level over 10 furlongs, including a staying-on third in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville on August 15.
Lisa-Jane Graffard added: “Cloth Of Stars had a good break after his early season exploits, which included winning the Prix Ganay and setting two track records.
“He has been held back for an end of season campaign and this will be a good starting point for the rest of the campaign.
“He is a horse who doesn’t need a lot to get fit and should hopefully run well.
“Talismanic hasn’t run since July – he was due to run in the Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga on August 26, but had a slight setback.
“He is back in great form at the moment and is a very straightforward horse. There may be a couple of other runners with a sharper turn of foot, but he is an improving horse and this will hopefully set him up for a nice autumn.
“Avilius has a bit to find with some of the field, notably Cracksman, but he has run well on all of his starts. He is improving and the step up in trip will help him. This race will tell us where to go for the rest of this season.”