Marco Botti is hoping Capla Temptress can step up on her two-year-old form when she makes her seasonal debut in the Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
The daughter of Lope De Vega won at the top level in Canada last term, but Botti feels the French Classic will provide a much sterner test.
“All has gone well with her prep for her first run of the year,” said Botti.
“She seems pretty straight enough. We’ve been happy and it’s gone smoothly.
“Obviously the French Guineas is not an easy race. She will have to show she is a Group One filly in Europe. She won a Grade One, but that was last year and this is a step up in class.
“We’ve got a good draw (two). I’m pleased with what I’ve seen at home and she’s in good form. We’re hoping for a good run.”
Capla Temptress, owned by American-bred based Team Valor, ran in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf when briefly under the care of Bill Mott, but returned to Botti’s Newmarket yard straight after she finished a respectable seventh to Rushing Fall.
“She ran in the Breeders’ Cup for Bill Mott because after she won the Grade One at Woodbine, she stayed in America and ran a decent race. She came back to me after that,” said Botti.
“We need to start somewhere. Hopefully the ground will not be too soft for her.”
In contrast, Karl Burke is hoping there will be plenty of cut in the ground to see Ellthea in her true light after having to put her reappearance on hold.
“It’s a tough race to make your seasonal debut in. It wasn’t the original plan, but she missed her prep run early in April and now the ground has dried up everywhere,” said the North Yorkshire handler.
“We were going to go to Lingfield, but the going was a bit quick there and she was entered in Ireland.
“This is only second or third choice, but she needs a run under her belt. She’s in great form and whatever she does she will improve on.”
David Simcock’s unbeaten Teppal completes the three-pronged British challenge while Aidan O’Brien’s Could It Be Love is the sole Irish raider.
The daughter of War Front made light of 326-day absence when bolting up in a Dundalk maiden last month.
“She is a half-sister to Uncle Mo. She won nicely so hopefully the ground is nice,” the Ballydoyle handler told At The Races.
Leading the home defence is Freddy Head, who is doubly-represented with Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up Polydream and Sea Prose, while Andre Fabre saddles the unbeaten Godolphin filly Musis Amica and Wind Chimes for the Coolmore team.
“She comes into the race in great form,” Fabre said of Musis Amica.
“She is a progressive filly, who handles the track well.
“She lacks a bit of experience compared to some of the others, but she should give a good account of herself.” he told www.godolphin.com.