Architect Tips shares his Tote Placepot tips for today's racing at Longchamp.
Leg 1 Selections: Shartash
The opener can go to the Johnny Murtagh-trained SHARTASH, who did well to overcome being hampered to get the better of Blackbeard in the Group Two Railway Stakes back in June. I know he proved no match for Little Big Bear in the Phoenix Stakes next time but he ran well when a close-up third in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes last month on soft ground and may have finished even closer to the eventual winner with a clear passage. He’s proven on soft ground and should have more to come, so he’s taken to make the France worthwhile and come out on top.
Leg 2 Selections: Blue Rose Cen, Ardent
BLUE ROSE CEN has a lot going for her in the Marcel Boussac. Conditions have gone in her favour as the more rain the better, given her record on soft ground reads three wins from three starts. She did very well to win over course-and-distance last time after a tardy start and should confirm the form with Start Me Up here. She’s drawn well in stall five and is open to further improvement, while her trainer is in red-hot form with four winners from his last five runners. This daughter of Churchill can make her presence felt at the highest level here.
Andre Fabre is no stranger to success at this meeting and therefore ARDENT has to merit consideration at decent odds. She built on the promise of her debut third with an easy success in a conditions race at Saint-Cloud. This is a much deeper race but she has an excellent pedigree and conditions won’t be of no concern to her either. It is also worth noting that her trainer won this twelve months ago, so this is likely to have been a long-term plan with this daughter of Frankel. With a top-class rider booked for the task ahead, she’s worth an interest at decent odds here.
Leg 3 Selections: Alpinista, Westover
There is no disguising what an incredible job Sir Mark Prescott has done with the admirable ALPINISTA, who is seeking a remarkable sixth successive Group One triumph. She beat last year’s winner of this race Torquator Tasso in Germany last year and was last seen winning the Yorkshire Oaks in good style against a quality field. The form has been let down since but she is drawn well in stall six and this mare is at the top of her game. She’s won under all types of conditions and Luke Morris, who’s got a great record on her, comes over to France to ride. I think she’s a rock-solid each-way player and it will undeniably take a top, top-class horse to lower her silks with literally no chinks in her armour.
Ralph Beckett’s high-class middle-distance performer WESTOVER suffered a luckless trip when third in the Epsom Derby but he comfortably made amends when easily accounting for a useful field in the Irish version at the Curragh by seven lengths. His effort in the King George can easily be excused as it appeared the run came too soon after his Irish heroics. He’s reunited with Rob Hornby after all the controversy that happened earlier in the year and while this race will require a new personal best to come out on top, I like his profile, he stays, he finishes his races strongly and has Group 1 winning form over this distance, so he looks a little overlooked by the bookmakers and I can see him going close in an open renewal.
Leg 4 Selections: La Parisienne, Rosacea
LA PARISIENNE ran a huge race when narrowly denied by Nashwa in the Group 1 Prix de Diane and might have won with a clear passage. She proved that performance to be no fluke when extremely unlucky in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille here three weeks ago when third. She was repeatedly denied a clear run throughout the final two furlongs and once in the clear, she charged home to only be beaten around half-a-length. In the hope she gets a clear run this time round, she should go close to gaining compensation here.
ROSACEA was equally unlucky as the former in that race, in which she finished third, and has conditions to suit here. Her one-length French Guineas fourth and subsequent running-on third behind Nashwa in the Prix de Diane when having traffic difficulties and given too much to do gives her a big chance despite her odds suggesting otherwise. She looked as though she needed her latest outing and the return to these conditions will see her go best effect. She’s three-from-four when the ground is soft or worse and is drawn well in stall seven. She makes lots of appeal at huge odds.
Leg 5 Selections: The Platinum Queen, Caturra
THE PLATINUM QUEEN has won three of her six starts and her speed here will be a big asset from a draw that should see her bag the rail. I know her latest performance has been let down by the winner since but connections wouldn’t be running her here unless they felt she is able to run to her best. She ran a blinder on her penultimate start to finish second in the Nunthorpe behind Highfield Princess and that form is rock-solid. She gets loads of weight form her elders and Hollie Doyle maintains the ride, so she could be hard to beat.
I wouldn’t rule out the Clive Cox-trained CATURRA though, who caught the eye in the Flying Five at the Curragh last time. That was his first start on soft ground and he would have finished much closer than his initial position if he had a clear run at any stage from the two furlong pole. He’s a good horse on his day and this race should be run to suit, while Tom Marquand has been booked to ride. His only previous trip to France saw him narrowly denied in a Group Three and, from a nice draw in stall four, he could go well at big odds here.
Leg 6 Selections: Sandrine, Mangoustine
SANDRINE won two Group events last season, including on heavy ground, and did well to win the Lennox Stakes back in July. Kinross reversed the form next time at York but this filly was racing away from the main action and did well to finish as close as she did. I think today’s conditions will suit Andrew Balding’s filly better than most and if there’s ever a time she’ll win a Group 1, I feel this will be the race.
MANGOUSTINE hasn’t been seen to best effect the last two times but if she could bounce back to her French 1000 Guineas victory, she would have place claims at the very least. The return to this course could sparkle a revival and conditions will be fine for her too. The bookmakers appear to have her overpriced, so she could eliminate some units in the final leg if we can through to this stage of the pool.