French Guineas preview: Fabre fancied for Deauville double in Classic contests

Published on: May 30, 2020
Author: Jamie Clark
2020 French Guineas preview includes Victor Ludorum

Trainer Andre Fabre is back among the winners, so bookmakers have no hesitation in making his three-year-old colt Victor Ludorum and filly Tropbeau favourites for their respective French Guineas.

Up first at Deauville over the straight mile on Monday is the French 2000 Guineas (14:50). Victor Ludorum went unbeaten in three starts as a juvenile, but ran below par on reappearance.

Although only third in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau, the Godolphin owned colt won at the highest level last season.

Victor Ludorum ran out a ready three-quarters of a length victor in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc weekend. His Longchamp Group 1 success is the best form on offer.

That is because the runner-up, Alson who re-opposes here, advertised that when beating Armory in a rematch. Fabre’s yard just wasn’t firing when horse racing resumed in France earlier this month.

It has taken time to get his team ready, but Victor Ludorum is one of three representing that stable here. Perhaps he needed that reappearance run, so leaving it behind and bouncing back would be no surprise.

That is clearly what the bookies think as Victor Ludorum rates a 2/1 fancy with Coral here. Winning his Classic trial was nowhere near as important as delivering on French Guineas day.

Alson has since joined Fabre’s yard after his Group 1 Criterium International success last term. Unlike most of the other Classic contenders, he comes to Deauville without a prep run.

Taking that Longchamp form literally isn’t advised. Alson beat Armory by 20 lengths, but something was clearly amiss with the Lagardere third.

The switch of stables does look significant, though. As Alson is a 5/1 chance with SportNation, punters can get their stake back if you go each-way and he places as expected.

Fontainebleau form under microscope on French Guineas days

Victor Ludorum isn’t the only horse fancied to turn the Fontainebleau form around either. Runner-up Ecrivain was only fourth in the Lagardere, but is next best in the betting behind the favourite.

Trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, this Wertheimer Brothers owned colt has a pedigree that suggests he is tailor-made for a mile.

A winner on the round course here on his racecourse debut, Ecrivain followed-up in Group 3 company at Longchamp. On Lagardere form, he has just a length to find on Victor Ludorum and even less with Alson.

That is why Ecrivain is 11/4 with Betfair and much shorter in the market than Fontainebleau winner The Summit. Henri-Alex Pantall’s charge made all to win, but won’t be given a soft lead here.

His previous form doesn’t match the level of the other market principals. That explains why The Summit is a top-price 8/1 with William Hill to follow-up in this Classic.

Kenway ran fourth in the Fontainebleau when denied a clear run. His juvenile form suggests there is something to find with the big boys, though, and odds of 22/1 with 10bet reflect that.

Fabre’s third string Arapaho is owned by the Coolmore set and unexposed. He could be anything and is 11/1 with Ladbrokes here.

Tropbeau gives Fabre claims of French Guineas double

In the French 1000 Guineas for fillies which follows (15:25), Tropbeau took her trial run nicely. The way she shaped as a juvenile always suggested that a mile would suit her.

That impression was confirmed when Tropbeau only needed riding out to land the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte by half-a-length on reappearance. A late switch for the Classics from Longchamp to Deauville is no problem for her either.

Tropbeau won a Group 3 on the round course and then the Group 2 Prix du Calvados over a straight 7f here last summer. She has nothing to fear from the re-opposing runner-up Marieta on that latter form.

An unlucky third when dropping down in distance for the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, Tropbeau has since beaten Dream And Do, and stable companion Tickle Me Green in her Classic trial.

Lady Bamford’s filly beat them when the yard was not firing on all cylinders. She is also 2/1 favourite with Coral for French Guineas glory.

Jean-Claude Rouget and the Aga Khan are formidable connections, however, and they team up with the unexposed Simeen. The trainer has won three of the last six runnings of this Classic.

Backed by a powerful owner who is no stranger to success in top thoroughbred races, Simeen could be anything. She has won three minor events, but was a hot favourite every time.

What she beat is certainly open to question. Simeen is respected, given connections, and a 7/2 chance with SportNation to make the huge step up in grade here.

Emoji overpriced on pick of form

There are a few each-way angles into the French 1000 Guineas. Emoji was a beaten favourite last time out, but looks overpriced and the best value now dropping back in trip.

After a wide-margin success in Germany, she joined Francis-Henri Graffard and recorded Listed success at Saint-Cloud on her French debut in March.

While Emoji was turned over in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux last time out, that race was over 1m 1f. She only got headed inside the final furlong and still held on second, confirming previous form with Galova.

The straight course at Deauville could play to her strengths. On breeding, Emoji has enough stamina in her pedigree to run into a place if adopting different tactics to last time.

She is 16/1 with Paddy Power and could well outrun those odds. One below par effort does not make Emoji a bad filly, so she could be worth another chance.

Others to consider each-way at the Vanteaux second and third – Dream And Do and Tickle Me Green. Both have a little bit to find with Tropbeau, though.

Dream And Do is a consistent filly trained by Frederic Rossi. She is 7/1 with Betfair and has always made the frame in five previous races.

Tickle Me Green is the last Fabre’s five Classic contenders. She kept on in the Vanteaux despite being headed two out, so is an 8/1 chance with Ladbrokes in this 12-runner contest.