Chris Hayes talks up Power’s Abbaye claims

Jockey Chris Hayes feels Sole Power has a good chance of breaking his Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye hoodoo should conditions continue to dry out at Longchamp.

Ireland’s crack sprinter has not had the rub of the green in the last four runnings of the five-furlong dash yet has performed creditably in all those renewals with placings of third, fifth, sixth and eighth.

While Eddie Lynam’s five-time Group One winner is at his best on fast ground, he showed he can handle slower going when winning the Flying Five at the Curragh on his latest start.

Hayes was in the plate for the first time that day and is excited about being aboard him on Sunday.

“If the weather stays the way it’s forecast, he’d really have to have a chance,” he said. “It seems to be going the right way ground wise. I never got to ride him in his younger days, but he’s still had plenty of spark for me.

“The turn of foot he showed on that kind of ground (at the Curragh), it would be mouthwatering thinking of Sunday if it stays dry.”

Meanwhile, Blandford Stakes winner Ribbons is to wait for the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 17 after being taken out of the Prix de l’Opera.

The James Fanshawe-trained mare was only beaten a neck in the latter race 12 months ago but connections have decided to let her take her chance at the showpiece on Champions Day this time round.

Also, conditions in Paris were unlikely to suit the soft-ground lover Ribbons and the race comes only three weeks after her victory at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend.

“We’ve taken her out of the l’Opera. She’ll run in the Champion Stakes instead,” said Dan Downie, racing manager for owner-breeders Elite Racing.

“The ground will be too quick for her and the race a bit too soon as well after Ireland.

“When we decided we’d miss Longchamp we laid off her a little bit and will bring her back to the boil for the Champion Stakes. She’s in really good form.”

We Are, who had the measure of Ribbons last year, will attempt to repeat her victory and her trainer Freddy Head expects a better showing than of late from the filly.

She is without a win in three outings this term and finished behind Odeliz in the Prix Jean Romanet last time out.

Head said: “We Are has had lots of little problems this year, I haven’t had a good run with her.

“She’s not been very lucky, I’ve had to stop a few times with her but I’m hoping I’ve got her back to her best.”

Meanwhile, dual winner Treve heads a field of 17 remaining in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe following the latest forfeit stage.

Australian-trained Criterion, the John Oxx-trained Sea Moon and the Aga Khan-owned Karaktar were the three withdrawals from Europe’s premier middle-distance prize.

Today is the supplementary stage when Derby hero Golden Horn is expected to be added to the list of runners.

His trainer John Gosden already has two contenders in Irish Derby scorer Jack Hobbs and Eagle Top.

All the leading fancies have stood their ground, headed by French Derby victor New Bay, Aidan O’Brien’s star filly Found and the Dermot Weld-trained Free Eagle.


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