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To walk away with profit on Saturday was surprising, but needed. Vandeek is a monster and the way he won yesterday puts him firmly in place for a good chance in the 2000 Guineas. Thunder Ball drifted out to very big odds and managed to grab a place in the Cambridgeshire after trying to make all, the last furlong was tough for him but he managed to cling on.
Longchamp 3:05 – Fantastic Moon 9/1 (0.5pt EW Bet365 4pl)
I'm not going to pretend that Fantastic Moon will win the Arc, but I think he has a decent chance of running very well and potentially causing an upset for the Germans.
Some of you with good memories will recognise this name as I tipped him up against the Godolphin horse when the pair ran at Munich in a Group 1 when William Buick absolutely schooled today's jockey. R Piechulek held him off the pace like he likes to do on this horse but Buick got an easy lead that day and it proved crucial. Since then, Fantastic Moon went to Longchamp over today's trip and won a Group 2 in great style, being held up again and powering home. That performance was very good and recorded an RPR of 121 and the form isn't bad either, as the runner-up who was easily beaten into 2nd place was a previous Group 1 winner the time before, and he also runs in the race today.
I don't think we'll get ridiculous odds on Fantastic Moon due to Torquatto Tasso winning this race a couple of years ago for Germany and then running well in last year's renewal, but I think he is currently at a more than appealing price. The jockey won this race on TT and they came from Stall 12 in that year, so today's stall of 12 will be a very comfortable position to be in as he's been there and done in from that starting point. He's going to hold up Fantastic Moon, so he's going to need gaps to appear and also a strong pace, which I think they might get as there are strong stayers in this race and surely they'd want a decent pace to make it into a real stamina test.
Longchamp 3:50 – Rogue Millennium 8/1 (1pt EW Bet365 4pl)
It pains me not to stay with Blue Rose Cen as she is one of my favourite horses in training, but I don't think the quick ground at Longchamp is going to be ideal for her. Instead, I've gone for Tom Clover's raider, Rogue Millennium.
I actually can't believe how well Rogue Millennium ran on Champions Weekends at Leopardstown three weeks ago where she finished 2nd in a Group 1 behind arguably the best 3yo filly in UK and Ireland, Tahiyra. She travelled powerfully into that race from the rear of the field, and I think if she was positioned more prominently and closer to the winner then she could have potentially won that race. However, based on that performance, the step back up to 10f looks like it could bring out further improvement. She has some decent form at this trip when she finished 2nd to Free Wind at York, the form of those in behind has been franked by every horse in that race with Sea Silk Road being the latest to win a Group 1 yesterday at Longchamp.
There's no denying this is another top tough race, but I think she is more than value at the prices.
Longchamp 5:00 – Shouldvebeenaring 14/1 (0.5pt EW PaddyPower 4pl)
Another EW selection in France for me is Shouldvebeenaring.
I've put this horse up a couple of times over the last 12 months when he was a juvenile and when he has been a 3yo. I've always thought he'd struggle at the top level, but on a couple of occasions this season he has run extremely well at Group 1 and 2 level and I think he has to be respected in this race on decent ground, especially over 7f.
Kinross has been the 7f bully over the last couple of seasons and he is tailor-made for this trip, he has been a superb horse and has landed multiple Group 1s, including in this race last year, but I think he might be vulnerable as though he has been winning, he hasn't been doing it easily. Shouldvebeenaring has always looked like 7f horse to my eyes, he does well over 6f as we saw when he was behind Little Big Bear earlier in the season, but his best part is the final furlongs of the race where he manages to stay on very strongly. The same happened last time out at the Haydock Sprint Group 1 when he finished a very close neck behind the winner, if he had another 50 yards or so he'd have won, so I think today's trip/course and group will be ideal for him. Whether or not he's good enough to take his chance, time will tell.
Longchamp - 3:05 pm
9/1 @ Bet365
Longchamp - 3:50 pm
8/1 @ Bet365
Longchamp - 5:00 pm