Matt Chapman: It’s showtime and I’ve a few French fancies for Longchamp

Mighty Matt Chapman pulls on his Paddy Power pants again with one simple mission. Winners .. lots of 'em!

Horse Racing


I’m back! Oh yes, it’s showtime once again here at Paddy Power with the return of my blog. You hear me Paddy? Back to getchya!

For those who have never read my utterings before, what I like to do is preview the big races each weekend and try and find you a few winners. Back in the day I did rather well, and in the end Paddy had enough of me costing him cash. But you can’t keep a good man down, so here I am once again.

Let’s get straight to it with the Sun Chariot at Newmarket on Saturday 15.15 and Longchamp on Sunday. It’s all live on ITV4.


Wind Chimes has been well backed for the Sun Chariot for the master French trainer Andre Fabre. However, I’m not deserting the ultra-tough LAURENS, who should run another huge race for Karl Burke. There is a chance Ballydoyle will try and rough her up on the front end, but she’s big enough to cope with that. Quite frankly, I just believe she is the best in the race.

What a meeting we have at Longchamp on Sunday! There’s a feast of Group One action and the big-race spree begins with the Group 1 Marcel Boussac 13.20 for juvenile fillies over a mile.

This is a poor renewal on paper and to be quite frank any of them could win. ROCQUES is unbeaten, and as such has to be the one to be on after a fine success in the Group 3 d’Aumale last time. She beat Ceratonia that day who challenges again but hard to see a change of form for Charlie Appleby’s raider.

The Jean-Luc Lagardere 13.55,  is a Group 1 for juvenile colts and fillies over 1m. Last year’s Derby winner Masar finished third in this and I’m all over ANODOR here. He looked a monster from the front in a Group 3 last time and could get an easy lead against this lot. He’s my nap selection on the card for Freddie Head.

Put your money where your mouth is over at

The 1m 4f Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (15.05), the premier all-age European Flat race is the feature and I’m going for last year’s champ ENABLE to lead home Cloth of Stars and Sea of Class.

I can’t tell you anything about Enable you don’t know, but she’s proven as the best horse bar one in this race, and we can forget about her injury as she subsequently put in a fine win at Kempton. She should score again for John Gosden.

Cloth of Stars chased home Enable at Chantilly last year. He’s been hopeless this season and has issues in his head, but he’s also got ability and could hit the frame at a big price.

Sea of Class is the one horse we don’t know whether has reached her ceiling yet. She could still be anything for trainer William Haggas. She looked good when winning the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks and on a line through Coronet has the clear beating of leading French hope Waldgeist.

Prix-de-L'Arc-de-Triomphe (R)

The Prix de l’Opera 15.50 is a another Group 1 contest over 1m 2f. Wild Illusion was a big juvenile winner at the meeting last year and will take some stopping. I’m having a few quid each-way on URBAN FOX, who has done little wrong this year and won the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland. She’s ultra tough for Team Haggas and has every chance of hitting the frame at decent odds.

There no doubt that BATTAASH is the fastest horse in the 5f Abbaye at 16.25. He will take some catching for Charlie Hills if anywhere near as good as he was at Chantilly last year. City Light has every chance of picking up the pieces if Battaash flops again although Christophe Soumillon’s mount ideally needs a longer trip.

And the final big race on Arc day is the Group 1 Foret over 7f at 17.00. Polydream is the one to beat, but I’m backing Aidan O’Brien’s GUSTAV KLIMT each-way, as this could be his perfect distance. He was a fine third in the Haydock Sprint over 6f and was given a poor ride when beaten at this trip the time before at Newbury.

So best of luck and hope for some Yeeehaaa’s. I’d love to take a bit of Paddy’s cash.

Put your money where your mouth is over at

What do you think?