This is the French 2000 Guineas, raced over a mile, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This is a fascinating renewal of the French 2000 Guineas. Brametot won a key trial for this race last month and that was a smart performance having missed the break before running on to score by a comfortable margin. He should be in the mix here for one of France’s finest trainers but he will face some stiff opposition in the form of National Defense who finished behind the subsequent English 2000 Guineas third Al Wukair. He will come on a lot for that run but it could pay to take a chance on SOUTH SEAS. He has been overlooked in the betting following a below par comeback run at Newcastle last month but the form of last years Criterium International couldn’t be much stronger and he’s likely to be much sharper and fitter today. Peace Envoy has trip concerns although Ryan Moore has chosen him over Orderofthegarter which looks significant.
1 MANKIB – Did well to win a conditions race at Maisons-Laffitte last month by a neck and that will have served as a nice preparation for today’s race. He’s now won three from three for Freddie Head but this is going to require much more improvement and he doesn’t look to have the same scope as some of today’s rivals. He’s best opposed here with some better sorts against him although the yard do well here, operating at a 19% strike rate.
2 BRAMETOT – Won a key trial at Chantilly last month by a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths. He was still green that day having missed the break and he did well to overcome some fair sorts, staying on 2 furlongs out before running away at the line. His form is incredibly solid and he should improve plenty for his seasonal reappearance so he has solid claims in this for a yard with an outstanding 29% strike rate at Deauville.
3 LE BRIVIDO – Twice-raced colt who’s won on both occasions over 6 furlongs. He takes a significant step up in trip today which is an interesting move given he’s shown plenty of speed although his breeding suggests he should just get the trip for a yard that are spot on with their runners at present. He’s ridden by leading French jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot and the market should be insightful as to his chances in this.
4 ORDEROFTHEGARTER – Finished second to the ante-post favourite for the English Derby on his second start as a 2yo and he’s followed that form up as a 3yo. He thrashed a modest bunch in a Naas maiden by 11 lengths and he then went on to a win a Listed contest by a comfortable margin. He’s still unexposed and this softer ground should be right up his street so there are very few holes in his profile so he’s likely to be popular in the betting.
5 KINGS GIFT – Finished fourth of ten at Newbury in April, beaten 6 1/4 lengths by the smart Barney Roy. He’s stepped up in trip today to a mile which looks questionable given he’s looked much better at 7 furlongs and his breeding doesn’t suggest this will be ideal for him. He has been supplemented so connections are clearly hopeful but he has something to find with his rivals and is opposed today with poor draw in stall 10.
6 SALSABEEL – Just denied on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket last month when unable to get the better of Beat The Bank. The form of that race looks solid and entitles him to take his chance here now stepped up in trip but he’s another that has something to find on form with a couple of his rivals and he’s yet to race on this softer ground. The yard are flying of late with 7 winners from their last 21 runners but he’s unlikely to better that record today.
7 INNS OF COURT – Second runner in this for Godolphin and Andre Fabre’s Invincible Spirit colt is interesting. He’s won on both of his starts to date which includes a success in a conditions event at Saint-Cloud last month when he looked better the further he went. This step up in trip should see him in an even better light and although it’s a big step up in grade, he’s open to any amount of improvement with a nice, unexposed profile. Respected here.
8 PEACE ENVOY – Ryan Moore has chosen him over Orderofthegarter which looks significant but this sprinter has some questions to answer today. He has some smart form, including at Deauville when only beaten a length by Lady Aurelia but those efforts have come over much shorter trips. He’s not looked as if he’s needed or wanted this extra distance and whilst he has to be respected for a yard operating at a 32% strike rate in the past fortnight, he has to be opposed here with trip concerns.
9 SOUTH SEAS – Slightly disappointing at Newcastle last month when finishing fifth of eight, beaten 7 lengths over a mile. He’s likely to have needed that run and it will have served as a perfect preparation for this race on the back of some extremely smart form last season. He finished second to the excellent Thunder Snow in the Criterium at Saint-Cloud and that form means he should be heavily involved in proceedings today if he can overcome that disappointment.
10 NATIONAL DEFENSE – Won a Group One at Chantilly last October on Good ground over a mile. He dropped back down in trip in April and he finished second to the extremely smart Al Wukair so he’s certainly got some smart form in the book and he should improve a huge amount now stepped up in trip and with that seasonal reappearance under his belt. Boudot gets off to ride Le Brivido but he’s been replaced by the excellent Christophe Soumillon and he’s a leading contender here although stall 9 is far from ideal.
11 RIVET – Beat the useful Yucatan in the Racing Post Trophy last October and he returned to action with a defeat to Eminent in the Craven at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance. He’s looked better over a mile and his form behind Churchill is obviously smart so he is entitled to his chance in this although he is yet to face ground worse than Good and that has to be a small concern in this. William Haggas is in fine form of late (5 winners from 24 runners) and he’s likely to be popular in this.
12 AFRICAN RIDE – Comfortably beaten by National Defense on his last start and it would be a surprise to see him reverse the form and win this. He’s raced at various trips from an extended 6 furlongs to a mile and he’s obviously versatile but this is a big step up in grade and he looks slightly more exposed than some of today’s rivals so he’s worth taking on in this. The yard have a 16% strike rate at Deauville.
13 SPOTIFY – Finished third behind Brametot on his seasonal reappearance which appears to be a fair level of form. The blinkers have brought out more improvement in him and he continues to progress although he’s been handed a horror draw in stall 11 and Maxime Guyon is going to have to make a critical decision early on. He looks to have a stronger chance than his stablemate African Ride but he’s still up against it here.