My mind is very much on Longchamp this weekend but there is a Meeting At Newmarket on Saturday with the one-mile Group One Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes due off at 3.15 as a little aperitif to the big meeting out in France.
With Alpha Centauri sadly retired following her injury in the G.1 Matron Stakes last month, it was no surprise to see Laurens, winner of that race, head the market for this in the build-up. Karl Burke’s star filly won the Prix Saint-Alary and the French Oaks over a mile and a quarter earlier in the season before not seeing out the 1m4f of the Yorkshire Oaks. 3-1 is about and I have it. Andre Fabre supplemented Wind Chimes and the filly might be the best of those owned by ‘the lads’ of Ballydoyle though ironically she isn’t trained there! She was an impressive winner of a Group Three at Deauville in August before just being denied by Recoletos in the G.1 Prix du Moulin on her latest outing. Aidan O’Brien has confirmed Clemmie, Happily and I Can Fly. Sir Michael Stoute trained Veracious remains open to improvement whilst Richard Hannon’s Billesdon Brook, who narrowly beat Laurens when claiming a shock victory in the 1000 Guineas over this course and distance in the spring also lines-up.
They race at Longchamp on Saturday as well and Unbeaten Prix Niel winner Brundtland runs in Saturday's Group Two Prix de Chaudenay over 1m7f. Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby said of his charge earlier this week: "His work has never been exciting but you can't fault what he's done, he turns up and gets the job done. We hope he'll improve with the step up to a mile and seven furlongs." I think he should step-up on what we’ve seen so far for the extra three furlongs but so do the Bookies as he is odds-on at 4-6.