Testing ground for Sequence bid

David Lanigan is slightly concerned about the prospect of testing conditions for his Investec Derby runner-up Main Sequence ahead of the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Saturday evening.

David Lanigan is slightly concerned about the prospect of testing conditions for his Investec Derby runner-up Main Sequence ahead of the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Saturday evening.

Following four consecutive victories, the Niarchos family-owned three-year-old lost his unbeaten record at the hands of Aidan O’Brien’s potential Triple Crown aspirant Camelot in the Epsom Classic.

He now makes the cross-Channel journey to France and Lanigan is hoping his charge can find the target at Group One level for the first time.

He said: “He’s in good order, but I would be a little bit concerned about the ground.

“I think he’ll run unless it became extreme or something, so we’ll see what happens.

“He likes a nice, strong pace and to pass horses. We wouldn’t want it to turn into a sprint but a nice even pace all round.

“It’s his last chance to run against three-year-olds, so it would be nice if he could win, as it’s going to be tougher for him against the older horses.

“We’ll get this out of the way before we make any other plans, but we don’t want to be too hard on him this year as he’ll stay in training next year all going well.

“He’s strengthening all the time and I think next year is really going to be his year, so if we can campaign him this year with that in mind I think that will be in the best interests of the horse.”

Niarchos racing manager, Alan Cooper, also has one eye on next season.

“We’re looking forward to seeing him back on the track. He came out of the Derby very well,” said Cooper.

“Unfortunately for everybody it is going to be quite soft, but it is fresh ground and hopefully it will be all right.

“Our long-term plan is for him to be in training next year, so we want to build towards that.

“It would be fantastic if he could win that Group One and we’ll get through tomorrow before we make any decisions.”

Camelot’s trainer Aidan O’Brien saddles a major contender in Imperial Monarch.

The Galileo colt had no luck in running in the French Derby, flying home down the outside of the field to finish a never-nearer eighth.

The trainer’s son and jockey, Joseph, told At The Races: “He came out of his last race OK and I’m looking forward to it.

“You know your own horse very well and obviously French races can be quite messy and it’s hard to get a very accurate guide on the form, but you have to keep an eye on it. We’ll see how he runs and hopefully he can run a big race.

“I don’t see the course at Longchamp posing much of a problem. He’s stepping up in trip and that’s probably a question mark. The extra two furlongs, you’d imagine he’d stay on pedigree, but you never know until they go and do it.

“He’s always felt like a very good horse and he’s been given some time to come to himself.

“He won very nicely at Sandown (Classic Trial) and I think you can write off the race at Chantilly, so hopefully we can get off on the right foot this time.”

Jean-Claude Rouget’s Lidari was supplemented for the race after consecutive Listed-race triumphs.

Georges Rimaud, racing manager for owner the Aga Khan, said: “He’s in very good order and we supplemented him because we feel he has a chance of being competitive.

“We would prefer better ground than we’re going to get tomorrow, but he’s in the race and he’ll do his best.

“The first Listed race he won in Bordeaux was reasonably competitive and the last race in Toulouse was maybe less so, but he stays well and we have seen enough from him to put him in this race.”

Andre Fabre has three runners, headed by Godolphin-owned French Derby runner-up Saint Baudolino.

The Chantilly maestro also runs the Khalid Abdullah-owned Last Train and Albion.

Top Trip, Nutello and Hard Dream complete the nine-runner field.

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