Classic chance for unbeaten Siyarafina

Royer-Dupre’s filly faces strong British challenge in Prix de Diane

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Siyarafina finally gets her chance in Classic company as she contests this weekend’s Prix de Diane at Chantilly.

Alain de Royer-Dupre’s charge made her racecourse debut only in April, but she is unbeaten in three starts – including the Group One Prix Saint-Alary last time out.

Connections opted to bypass the French 1000 Guineas last month before running in the 10-furlong Saint-Alary – and while that win proves Siyarafina will get the Diane trip, Royer-Dupre expects Chantilly to provide a sterner test on Sunday than ParisLongchamp.

He said: “The Prix de Diane Longines course requires more stamina than that of the Saint-Alary.

“The filly has better condition now than when she won the Saint-Alary. Siyarafina has a lot of speed and she is also very athletic.

“She is easy to ride in her races and can be ridden in any fashion.”

Siyarafina had her final serious piece of work on Tuesday morning on the Aigles gallops at Chantilly, and her handler believes she is primed for her big-race assignment.

Royer-Dupre added: “Siyarafina ran in the Saint-Alary three weeks ago, and so the timing is perfect. Since then we have just kept her ticking over – she hasn’t needed anything more.

“She is ready for Sunday. There is stiff opposition – the race isn’t won yet.

“I just hope that the track won’t be as quick as on the day of the Jockey Club. When three track records are broken in one day, it means that the track is riding very fast, and that can leave its mark on the horses.”

Nausha and Entitle face a fascinating rematch as they represent British interests in France.

The Roger Varian-trained Nausha was a surprise winner of the Musidora Stakes at York last month – with Entitle dead-heating for second alongside Frankellina, just a neck behind.

Varian has decided to stick to Chantilly’s extended 10 furlongs rather than stepping up to a mile and a half in the Ribblesdale at Ascot next week, and expects any ease in the ground to suit.

He said: “She will head to the Prix de Diane as opposed to going to the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot.

“She has been in great form since York. I think the Musidora will prove to be a good race.

“She wouldn’t want it too quick – and although it was quick when she won the Musidora, she will be better when she gets a bit of give in the ground.”

In contrast, John Gosden would not want too much ease in conditions for Entitle – who has won one of her three starts to date.

He said: “She ran a good race at York, although she wouldn’t want too much more rain.

“She learnt a lot at York and she appears to be in good form, but she will have to step up again. As she is by Dansili, she will be better on top of the ground.”

Gosden and rider Frankie Dettori will be looking to Entitle – half-sister to the stable and same owner’s brilliant dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable – to deliver an Oaks double, with Anapurna already having won at Epsom last month.

Dettori added: “She doesn’t show a lot in the morning. It was a good run in the Musidora, and she will improve on that. She has to improve, because it looks quite a tough race.

“She is not Enable yet, but she is improving and we are taking a chance with her. She isn’t Enable yet, and has quite a long way to get there.”

A total of 16 fillies will line up at Chantilly – with Jean-Claude Rouget running four in Ebony, Etoile, Cartiem and Commes, and Andre Fabre and Aidan O’Brien not fielding any contenders this time around.

Classic chance for unbeaten Siyarafina
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