Irish raider Romanised has recaptured his best form of late and is 11/4 favourite with Unibet to complete a hat-trick in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp on Sunday (14:50).
Ken Condon’s stable star was the shock winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas on his second start of last season after previously chasing home 2018 Epsom Derby hero Masar as a juvenile.
Although he failed to fire in three subsequent starts and needed the run on reappearance at Naas, this Holy Roman Emperor colt was a fine fourth when back in Group 1 company in both the Lockinge at Newbury and Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Romanised was denied a clear run 100 yards from home in the latter, but still stayed on and was beaten just 1 3/4 lengths.
Connections eased him in grade and dropped him down in distance next time up for the Group 2 Minstrel Stakes at The Curragh.
While Romanised was slowly away, he made steady progress through the field and good headway over a furlong out.
He then pressed the leader and quickened to take things up 150 yards from the line for a length success over Hey Gaman.
It was a fine performance and Romanised followed-up when back at the highest level for the Prix Jacques le Marois over 1m at Deauville.
He asserted quickly when taking things up inside the final half-furlong for a ready 1 1/4 lengths victory over the re-opposing Shaman.
As Romanised now meets the runner-up and third home, Line Of Duty, on 2lb better terms, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t confirm the form.
This looks a key piece of form for the Prix du Moulin, so a bold bid for the three-timer looks assured.
Circus Maximus and Phoenix Of Spain looking to bounce back in Prix du Moulin
Two three-year-old Group 1 winners also head over to France from the British isles for this feature contest.
Circus Maximus was little more than a glorified pacemaker for Japan in the Juddmonte International last time out, but down in trip commands respect.
Trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, this Galileo colt has won over further when landing the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester’s May Festival on reappearance.
Although the Epsom Derby trip stretched his stamina, he then lasted home in the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot.
Circus Maximus was held just half-a-length by Too Darn Hot in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on his penultimate start.
The now retired winner had previously landed the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville.
With this trip and going hold no fears, Circus Maximus is 9/2 with Ladbrokes for the Prix du Moulin and those odds suggest he can go well in this.
Like Romanised, Phoenix Of Spain is an Irish Classic winner but does have Royal Ascot and Goodwood form to reverse here.
Trained by Charlie Hills, the son of Lope De Vega had his day on a belated reappearance at The Curragh.
Although a below par sixth in those two subsequent starts to his Irish 2000 Guineas triumph, Phoenix Of Spain is capable of better.
This may be easier than running at big British festivals, so it would be no surprise to see this grey colt take a step back in the right direction.
Phoenix of Spain is 15/2 with Betfair and one to consider each-way here.
Marois second and third Shaman and Line Of Duty each-way angles
Aforementioned Prix Jacques le Marois runner-up Shaman and third Line Of Duty are each-way alternatives in this despite being worse off on race terms with Romanised.
The former finished in front of Phoenix Of Spain when fifth to Circus Maximus in the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot after chasing home Persian King in the French 2000 Guineas.
This three-year-old Shamardal colt is a course winner over nine furlongs in Group 3 earlier this season.
Shaman is 8/1 with William Hill and could still hit the frame in the Prix du Moulin if the market principals don’t perform.
Line Of Duty, meanwhile, took a step back in the right direction for powerful owners Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby last time out.
This other three-year-old son of Galileo was just a nose behind Shaman when initially outpaced by then staying on well.
He has struggled to replicate his juvenile form that saw him land a hat-trick at the end of last season.
Line Of Duty took the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on his final start of the campaign and that marked him out as a potential Classic contender this term.
Connections still went to the Epsom Derby despite being well-beaten in a strange renewal of the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York on reappearance, but Line Of Duty failed to fire.
Odds of 8/1 with Boylesports for the Prix du Moulin are worth considering each-way if building on his last run, though.
Al Dabaran and Called To The Bar appeal in other races
Earlier on the card, Godolphin and Appleby have an exciting, unbeaten juvenile colt in Al Dabaran who can take another step up in grade and distance in the 1m Group 3 Prix de Chenes (13:00).
This progressive son of Dubawi is two from two over 7f. After readily forging clear to win a novice contest on debut at Newmarket, he followed-up in Listed company at Ascot.
Al Dabaran stayed on well in the final furlong and hit the front in the final strides. That suggests the extra furlong here will suit.
With Appleby’s stable on a 29 per cent strike rate in the last 14 days at the time of writing, and in-form jockey William Buick taking over in the saddle, Al Dabaran can complete his hat-trick at 5/4 with Paddy Power.
After the Prix du Moulin is the extended 1m 7f Group 3 Prix Gladiateur (15:20), and last year’s winner Called To The Bar can retain his crown.
The Pia Brandt trained five-year-old needed driving out in this 12 months ago to beat Holdthaisgreen by a short-head. There isn’t much between them, and Called To The Bar is 3-2 up in career meetings.
Although beaten three-quarters of a length off level weights in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak at Chantilly, the Henrythenavigator gelding resumed winning ways on reappearance.
He was also impressive on two outings later on his penultimate start in the Group 2 Vicomtese Vigier here.
Called To The Bar ran out an three-length winner and then wasn’t totally disgraced when eighth in the Group 1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
This is far easier with the opposition unproven at this level. Called To The Bar is 6/5 with BetVictor for more Gladiateur glory on Prix du Moulin day.