After a bleak Sunday at Dundalk’s All-Weather, where non of my selection even went anywhere close enough to give me a run for my money, I have set sights firmly on France today – for a change of scenery. The French of course celebrate Bastille Day… let’s hope I can celebrate a winner instead!
6.25 Longchamp: Grand Prix De Paris (Group 1)
I can see the reason why many are keen on Balios after his impressive success at Royal Ascot. Not sure if the race is run to suit him, though, as he seems to need a quick pace and every inch of 12f trip in the King Edward.
Storm the Stars has been runner-up in Irish Derby and third in the English equivalent. He sets the standard, obviously, however may be found out for speed once again. He looks a stayer, and I can see him only winning a Group 1 over the Leger trip. He also had a tough season up to this point, and it might be a race that comes too soon.
For the French it is once more an Andre Fabre trained colt who is going to provide the key challenge. Ampere is unbeaten in two starts, already a Group 2 winner and clearly an exciting prospect. The better ground is a slight concern, as well as his form is nothing particularly special after all.
Silverware should find this trip stretching his stamina, while progressive Erupt is clearly one to take seriously. But it is Aiden O’Brien’s Archangel Raphael who is the most intriguing contender in this field.
He was one I was keen to see as a three year old. He made a belated comeback but couldn’t have done much more than winning his seasonal reappearance at Fairyhouse earlier this month. The runner-up has subsequently franked the form with a good victory at Dundalk.
Archangel Raphael was a good juvenile. A bit unlucky not to win on debut, when 2nd to a good winner. He was quite green that day as well as on his second career start – though then at Galway, he produced an impressive turn of foot to win in difficult circumstances.
Longchamp as a track should suit him perfectly and in a slowly run race he may be one of few who is happy to make all. Blinkers fitted for the first time doesn’t need to a negative. In fact he could be even sharper in the finish. This talented individual is clearly overpriced in my mind.
Archangel Raphael 12/1 Stan James – 5pts Win