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The rain pouring all weekend over here in Paris and the ground conditions at ParisLongchamp may take a drastic turn from the current official going of ‘Good’. Couple that with fact that many horses will be needing their re-appearance, means that punting on Sunday’s meeting could be a minefield.
I have been analysing the cards since the entries came out some days ago and I am sure that I have unearthed a few good things throughout the afternoon. A huge days racing to look forward to, plenty of top class animals on show and I think my NAP is a name to follow for the season.
Trained in Chantilly by Fabrice Chappet, GOLD TRIP really caught the eye when he loomed up on the outside before finishing an admirable fourth in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and was certainly was the one to take out of the race. The son of Outstrip has rock solid Group One form and should be perfectly suited by the softening ground here.
He is drawn in stall eight and jockey Stephane Pasquier can envisage a similar passage through his comeback run here. I think this huge horse is incredibly exciting and although he has Skaletti to deal with here, he is one of my strongest NAP’s for some time and without doubt a horse to follow for the year.
This horses potential is through the roof! I fell on love with KING SHALAA at the back end of last season and actually cited him in this column on his comeback run a few weeks ago, which he won. His record now reads 3 from 3 now but this is by far the most difficult task the colt has been issued to date.
King Shalaa has the class, the quality and a high cruising speed, which he will need to apply 100 per cent to get his head in front in this Group Three, as 6 of his 7 rivals come here off the back of a success.
Trainer François Rohaut has always held JKing Shalaa in the highest of regard and he steps up the colt an extra 200m here. He should have no problem with the distance and remains one of the ante-post favourites for the French Derby in June (2,100m).
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Although he does hold some future Group One entries, I don’t think that CHESHIRE ACADEMY has shown enough to be up to that level just yet. An unbeaten record from his two starts to date (albeit in very humble surroundings at Pau) , the son of Flintshire steps up in class here and could definitely be the each-way play in a trappy nine runner affaire.
I quite like this horses attitude and if he continues the natural run of progression, he could be a huge danger here. Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget has a strong record in this race, with three winners in recent seasons.
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