Godolphin set up French Classics strike

THE Godolphin team look set to have a strong hand ahead of the French Classics after Andre Fabre gave them a double at Longchamp yesterday.

Firstly Anna Salai produced an impressive success in the Prix De La Grotte.

The daughter of Dubawi was settled at the rear in the early stages but began to hit top gear passing the two-furlong marker and passed the post ahead of Gotlandia.

Alain Royer-Dupre’s Rosanara was the hot favourite but having had every chance, she could only finish third.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “I was very pleased with the performance and I would expect her to go to the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas).

“I haven’t talked to Andre yet but the French Classic looks the race for Anna Salai.”

Godolphin and Fabre went on to complete a double as Simon De Montfort (100-30) also pounced late to take the Group Three Prix La Force.

Paul Cole’s Circumvent was the sole British challenger and while he ran respectably to finish third, he had no answer to Simon De Montfort’s finishing kick.

Pain Perdu split the pair and filled the runner-up spot.

“Simon De Montfort deserves to go to the French Derby after that excellent performance,” said Crisford.

Royer-Dupre’s Siyouni had to make do with the runner-up spot as his pacemaker Rajsaman held on to land the Prix De Fontainebleau.

Meanwhile, John Best was pleased to see Inler’s work companion Halsion Chancer visit the winner’s enclosure on Saturday as the former prepares for his Classic bid in the StanJames.com 2000 Guineas.

The Best pair, joined by fellow Guineas contender Elspeth’s Boy, enjoyed a workout over seven furlongs at last week’s Craven meeting at Newmarket, in which Inler pulled clear without too many questions being asked.

Halsion Chancer’s triumph at Sandown has heightened the optimism of Best, who was thrilled with Inler’s weekend workout.

“Halsion Chancer showed on Saturday that he is a capable horse. When you look back at the Newmarket work, he was off the bridle a long way out and Inler never came off the bridle so you can’t be anything but impressed,” said Best.

“Everything is spot-on with Inler and we’ve had no problems at all.

“He’ll have a little piece of work on Wednesday but apart from that he won’t do a lot.

“Elspeth’s Boy will almost certainly run in the Guineas as well. It might come a little bit too soon for him but we’ll probably let him take his chance.

“The plan is for Tony Culhane to ride Inler and I think Steve Drowne will ride Elspeth’s Boy.”

The red-hot favourite for the Newmarket Classic is Aidan O’Brien’s St Nicholas Abbey, for whom Best has the utmost respect.

“You’ve got to think St Nicholas Abbey is the one to beat,” Best added.

“He obviously hasn’t raced yet this year and we are just going on what Aidan says, but he’s the master, so we’ve obviously got to be concerned about him.

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