Prix de l’Opera preview: With You taken to call the tune at LongchampPublished on: October 5, 2019Author: David Metcalf
With You looks terrific value to land the spoils in the 1m 2f Group 1 Prix De l’Opera on Arc day at Longchamp this Sunday (15:55). This Freddy Head trained four-year-old posted some top class efforts last year.
After running an absolute screamer over this course and distance when finding only the ultra-tough and top class Laurens a short-head too good in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, she ran very well behind that rival when keeping and beaten half-a-length in the Prix de Diane at Deauville.
With You then got back to winning ways when scoring easily over 1m at that venue, before finishing a keeping on six-length third to Alpha Centauri in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois there.
She went on to round off the campaign with a solid fourth of 16 to Wild Illusion in the Prix de l’Opera 12 months ago, when doing all her best work at the finish to be beaten just 2 1/2 lengths.
The George Strawbridge owned filly has only had three starts this season, and comes into the race on the back of two cracking efforts in Group 1s at happy hunting ground Deauville.
After losing by just half-a-length by Laurens in the Prix Rothschild, With You kept on well for pressure to go down fighting by three-quarters of a length to Coronet in the Prix Jean Romanet.
The form of those races is strong and With You’s light campaign suggests this has been her long-term target all season.
Head is sure to have her tuned to the minute, so at 7/1 with Unibet she looks value to give him a second winner of the contest having saddled We Are – who also carried the colours of Strawbridge – to land the spoils in 2014.
Mehdaayih Prix de l’Opera odds unappealing
The betting is headed by Mehdaayih, a 15/8 shot with Betway, who is one of two runners in the race for in-form Newmarket handler John Gosden.
After bolting up by 14 lengths in a Chelmsford handicap on seasonal reappearance, this three-year-old daughter of Frankel took the step up into Listed company in her stride with an impressive success in the Cheshire Oaks at Chseter.
Mehhdaayih swooped down the outside to take up the running a furlong from home, before quickening clear to beat Manuela De Vega by 4 1/2 lengths.
That earned her a crack at the Epsom Oaks and she was far from disgraced in finishing a 6 1/4 lengths seventh of 14 to Annapurna, as she got hampered on more than one occasion.
Mehdaayih then resumed winning ways with a two length victory in a Group 2 at Saint-Cloud, before finding only Deirdre too strong when beaten just over a length in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes last time out at Goodwood.
A repeat of the latter looks sure to see Mehdaayih go well in this, but at the odds on offer she looks plenty short enough and worth taking on it what is a competitive renewal of the Prix de l’Opera.
Gosden also saddles Terebellum, an unexposed three-year-old who has won two of her three starts.
She was impressive last time out when easily landing a Group 2 at Deauville by 1 3/4 lengths and looks well worth a crack at this level.
At odds of 5/1 with Betfred, Terebellum appeals as better value than her stable companion.
Watch Me another strong home contender
The home team have another leading contender for top honours in the shape of Watch Me, a 7/1 shot with William Hill.
This Francis Graffard trained three-year-old is lightly-raced and has a fine strike rate having won three of her six starts.
She enjoyed her finest hour in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot when running on strongly to beat dual 1000 Guineas winner Hermosa by 1 1/2 lengths.
Watch Me was then given a break and shaped with plenty of promise when a not knocked about 2 1/2 lengths fourth to Romanised in a Group 1 at Deauville when last seen in action.
That spin should have put her spot on for this and Graffard has made no secret of the high regard in which he holds the daughter of Olympic Glory.
She is clearly a very smart filly and still has an air of unfinished business about her.
Judged on her win at Royal Ascot, Watch Me is a key player in this and holds leading claims of hitting the frame at the very least so makes plenty of each-way appeal.