Horse Betting: Longchamp, France
A stronger pace than there was in the Fontainebleau will help Dabirsim to settle and he should resume winning ways.
Timeform's Chris Williams ponders whether Dabirsim resume winning ways at Longchamp on in Sunday's French 2000 Guineas.
Cristophe Ferland's Dabirsim will be looking to resume winning ways in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) at Longchamp this weekend after his defeat at the hands of Dragon Pulse last time.
Dabirsim was the top two-year-old in France, where he won the Prix Morny and the Jean-Luc Lagardere, but he lost his unbeaten record when going down by a short head to Dragon Pulse in the Prix de Fontainebleau at Longchamp on his reappearance. For most of the way, however, he looked set for a comfortable success, cruising into the lead a furlong out with his jockey looking round on several occasions to make sure he had everything covered but not allowing for the winner's response. A stronger pace than there was in the Fontainebleau will help Dabirsim to settle and he should resume winning ways.
Dragon Pulse won his first race for his new trainer, Mikel Delzangles, having been with Jessica Harrington in Ireland as a two-year-old when he won the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh (from Parish Hall), after which he finished second to Power in the National Stakes. He seized the opportunity to make a winning reappearance in the Prix de Fontainebleau at Longchamp last month, more strongly ridden than the runner-up Dabirsim and responding well to lead in the last strides, but he'll do well to confirm that form.
The Richard Hannon-trained Coup de Ville spearheads the challenge from this side of the water. Coup de Ville won four times as a two-year-old and appeared to run his best race when fifth to Camelot in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last time, though he's possibly flattered by his proximity in a bunched finish and an even bigger effort will to be required on Sunday.
Telwaar, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, put up his best effort when winning the European Free Handicap at Newmarket last time, quickening well in a race that wasn't run at an end-to-end gallop, but he too will need to improve to gain a place here - and that seems doubtful given that he lacks size and seemed to be primed for his reappearance - while he's also likely to prove best up to seven furlongs.
The last of the British-trained trio is John Gosden's Gregorian, who is progressing along the right lines and has won his last two starts, including a handicap at Newbury last month, when he beat Tartiflette by a head getting up in the final strides. He'll have no problems with the step up to a mile, but needs to find plenty more improvement.
Aidan O'Brien has had his string in fine form at Chester this week and on Sunday his main hope looks to be Furner's Green (his other runner Vault will likely be on pacemaking duties), who ran his best race as a two-year-old when fourth to stable-companion Power in the National Stakes at the Curragh and came back to that form when winning the four-runner Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial last month by nearly three lengths from Akeed Wafi. He flicked his tail but had plenty in hand and could yet improve, but he was below his best on his only outing on heavy going.
Beauvoir (trained by Jean-Claude Rouget) won his first two races, including when putting up a useful performance in a minor event on the all-weather at Deauville, but was only third when odds on for the Prix La Force won by Saonois at Longchamp last time, caught in the closing stages having been a length up on his rivals inside the final furlong. A return to a mile will be very much in his favour and he does strike as one who has more to offer.
Amaron, trained in Germany by Andreas Lowe, is a free-going sort who has won three of his four races, the latest the Group 3 Dr Busch Memorial (8.5f) at Krefeld on his reappearance by a head from Energizer, but he has plenty to find, as does Veneto (Bruno de Montzey) who has had more racing than most of his rivals (won twice, including a minor event at Longchamp on his latest outing) and has been well exposed in lesser company and faces a stiff task here.
Lucayan (Francois Rohaut) and Nutello (Carlos Laffon-Parias) make up the field, but both need to find a lot of improvement to figure at all on Sunday.