The Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (2.30 Newmarket) is very much overshadowed by the 2000 Guineas but it’s a cracking contest in its own right and one which can go to Andre Fabre’s Meandre.
The four-year-old made quite significant forward strides in the second half of last season and he has the potential to improve further.
In the Grand Prix de Paris, he was give a shrewd ride, sitting off the ferocious pace set by Ballydoyle stablemates Seville and Treasure Beach.
He found plenty for pressure on that occasion, running on strongly to beat Seville with a length and a half to spare.
Although French Derby winner Reliable Man was behind him on that occasion, he was no match for that rival when they renewed rivalry in the Prix Niel.
However, he excelled himself in the Prix de l’Arc, running sixth behind German mare Danedream.
He receives a very handy 5lbs from St Leger winner Masked Marvel and Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Vase winner Dunaden.
Michael Stoute’s Fiorente is an interesting runner but even allowing for the fact that he should progress well this season, he has an awful lot to find on what he actually achieved in 2011.
He may not have enjoyed the best of runs but he was well and truly outpointed by subsequent King George winner Nathaniel in the King Edwards VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, before losing out to Namibian at Goodwood.
Stoute has had a few winners this term but no-one would accuse him of coming out of the blocks in a real rush.
With that in mind and a stone to find on ratings, he makes limited appeal at no bigger than 4-1.
Meandre, on the other hand, is trained by Andre Fabre, who has a fantastic record with his raiders to Britain, and Maxime Guyon’s mount looks really good value at 9-4.
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