Race Time: 1.00pm Meeting: Longchamp Day: Sunday 4th October Distance: 1m
Full Race Name: Total Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches (Group One) (2yo Fillies)
We need to start with the honest assessment that trying to compare French and British form isn’t always that easy with so few lines of collateral form to go on, especially in the two year old races like this one. A look back at past results soon tells us that Pascal Bary is joint top for winners of this race with the superb Criquette Head-Maarek, and it looks as though he will be sending the unbeaten Antonoe (7/4) here on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how she copes with the step up in class? A six and a half length maiden win at Deauville marked her down as above average, and she soon followed that up with victory in the Group Three Prix D’Aumale at Chantilly where she made all before quickening clear to put the race to bed when asked. The runner up that day (Pleasemetoo) was a previous winner while the third was previously unbeaten after two races so the form looks pretty decent, and she has to be high on our early short list until we see the prices at least.
Irish trainer Aiden O’Brien took the race last year with Found, who probably goes for the Arc itself later in the afternoon, and had more than one possible as usual, with Ballydoyle (7/4) his chosen contender. A daughter of top class stallion Galileo, she has a two from five win record at present with her most recent run at The Curragh when runner up to stable companion Minding, beaten three-quarters of a length in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes, which makes pretty good reading.
Qemah (14/1) is an interesting contender with her maiden win here at Longchamp pretty hard to gauge. A daughter of Shamardal she pulled an easy three lengths clear of her field that day in pretty impressive fashion and certainly deserves her place in the line up though sadly as punters we won’t know exactly how good she is or isn’t until after the race!
Turret Rocks (12/1) arrives here a bit more battle hardened than some after four races, but seems unlikely to beat the O’Brien representative having been beaten three lengths by Ballydoyle in a Group Two at The Curragh. Jim Bolger trains the daughter of Fastnet Rock for his wife, and she has won again since that defeat at Doncaster when staying on past Marenko in the May Hill Stakes over the mile she faces today, but we cannot help but feel that Aiden will know exactly where he stands with her, and will have sent a horse he is convinced will have her measure.
Left Hand (12/1) is the totally unknown quantity on offer having won her only race to date in a course and distance maiden where her starting price of 11/1 suggests improvement is guaranteed. The form is yet to be tested so we arrive here clueless as punters, but she can only win when asked and if there is a dark horse that could cause an upset, she might be the one?