Sacre bleu! First day of French restart attracts one of stars of 2019

Paris Longchamp

You don’t get many opening days like this – but then you don’t get many years like this either, with the coronavirus throwing all the usual rules out of the window.

A season normally starts slowly, the stars arrive after a few weeks and then the action begins to hot up.

But that is not how it is going to work in 2020 and one of the biggest names in French racing will be strutting his stuff on the day that the action begins again.

Sottsass is a highly talented colt, winner of the French Derby last season and doing best of the three-year-old when third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

Improving on that third place will be a major aim this year and he starts on that path with a run in the Prix d’Harcourt at Longchamp on May 11, when racing resumes in France after being shut down since March 17.

There are four Group races on the card and Jean-Claude Rouget will also run his two major French Guineas hopes.

“Sottsass worked on Tuesday and went very well,” the trainer told Paris-Turf. “He will be out on the Monday and will run in the Prix d’Harcourt.

“Helter Skelter is also in good form and will contest the Prix de Fontainebleau. Simeen will make her comeback in the Prix de la Grotte and will need the run. It isn’t ideal as a prep but we need to go there on the way to the Poule [d’Essai des Pouliches].”

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