AFTER an excellent weekend, we asked Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) to give us his thoughts on Tuesday’s Grand Prix De Paris.
18:25 Longchamp | At The Races
On Tuesday Longchamp hosts the Grand Prix de Paris, the last 12 furlong Group 1 race restricted to three year olds in Europe, and the new target for French middle distance horses since the French Derby became 10 furlongs. Only six horses line up but it looks a competitive renewal with Storm the Stars putting the Epsom Derby form to the test.
Master trainer Andre Fabre has a fantastic record in this race winning it 13 times in total. He is represented here by the twice raced Ampere. He has won both starts taking a Group 2 in style last time on this course over 11 furlongs.
He travelled well through the race and looked a colt of immense potential but I’m not sure what he beat. Cape Clear Island was second, a horse who has regularly been found wanting at Group level. Ampere is respected in this because of connections but I don’t feel he has achieved enough to warrant his price.
Storm the Stars was third in the Epsom Derby before going one place better at The Curragh, albeit five lengths behind the winner Jack Hobbs. It’s clear for all to see that Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs are the top two middle distance three year olds of their generation, but Storm the Stars has claims to be the best of the rest.
A leading fancy for the St Leger later in the season, I’m not convinced he will be winning here. He has had a long hard season so far having six runs already and it would take some effort to maintain his level of form. He will surely be entitled to a summer break after this, but I think the best he can hope for before that break is a place here.
Silverware trained by Alain Couetill won his first four career starts and looked like a promising colt. He was sent off at 9/2 in the French Derby but was somewhat disappointing and I feel others have more to offer here. Erupt and Archangel Raphael are both unexposed horses but would need to step up significantly to take a hand in the finish here.
The one I really like here is Balios, who was a taking winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. That race at the time was seen as a weak renewal but the form looks solid enough. Unfortunately the favourite for that race Stravagante was pulled up and and tragically is no longer with us, but Balios won the race in good style. The second that day Mr Singh won easily in a Group 3 last week and has given the form a solid look. Trainer David Simcock is having a great season and I could see him pulling off a famous victory here.
18:25 Longchamp – Balios to win (3/1 William Hill)
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