Marie's Diamond tests Guineas potential

Choice of targets depends on Prix Djebel showing

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Marie’s Diamond will aim to book a ticket for one of four possible 2000 Guineas assignments if he performs well in the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte.

The Mark Johnston-trained colt has the option of the English, Irish, French or German Classics but first needs to prove in France on Wednesday that he will not be making a wasted journey to any of the above.

The winner of three of 10 outings at two, Marie’s Diamond won a Group Three in Ireland and was second in two Group Twos. He was last seen at the Breeders’ Cup.

Mike Prince, of owners Middleham Park Racing, said: “He went to America – but everything went wrong there. It chucked it down, he was drawn on the outside and he stood in the stalls – so everything that could go wrong did.

“He deserves another chance. He’s fit and well and worked with Dark Vision last week, which prompted the Johnstons to say he was fine to go.

“We wanted to run in a trial just to see. He’s got form in Group Two and Group Threes, so we’ll know if it’s worth a crack at a Guineas – whether it’s English, French, Irish or German. He’s in them all, so we need to see his level of form.

“The ground will suit, and this looks a less deep race than going for the Craven or the Greenham. It’s good prize money, and he doesn’t mind travelling.

“His run in the Middle Park was decent – he was a bit tapped for toe in the middle of the race before staying on again. This is seven furlongs, so we’ll see how he gets on.”

Seven will go to post – with Andre Fabre represented by Munitions, who won his first two last year before coming up short in Listed races.

“Munitions is a good-looking colt. He’s a good mover – you can spot him quite clearly in the mornings,” said Fabre.

“He’s racing over an extra furlong for the first time, and he could surprise a few people.”

Fabre is doubly represented in the fillies’ trial, the Prix Imprudence.

Suphala, a Frankel filly, won her last two outings impressively last season – while Lucky Jolie improved with racing.

Fabre said of Suphala: “She ended last season well. Obviously she is taking on better opposition, but she is a nice filly.

“She’s going OK in the morning – I hope she will run a good race, and then we will see what to do with her.

“As she’s already won over a mile, stamina is not a problem – but she has enough cruising speed for seven furlongs.

“Lucky Jolie finished behind Suphala (second time out) last year, before winning. She looks nice.

“She shows very good acceleration on a morning, so we will see how she handles going back up in trip.”

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