Andre Fabre sends two unbeaten juveniles to ParisLongchamp on Sunday, but fears a lack of experience and soft ground could compromise the chances of both Savarin and Victor Ludorum.
Savarin is by Japanese champion Deep Impact out of the classy Aga Khan mare Sarafina and carried a tall reputation before making a winning debut at Deauville in August. She has since won a Group Three at Longchamp.
Victor Ludorum looks another smart two-year-old for Godolphin, who already have Pinatubo and Earthlight in their ranks, but he did not make his debut until last month.
“They are both nice horses in the making, but they both lack for a bit of experience,” said Fabre.
“Also, I’m not sure if soft ground will suit either of them, that could be a problem as they are unproven on it.
“Savarin is by Deep Impact, so you wouldn’t expect her to appreciate it very soft.
“Victor Ludorum did not make his debut until September, he’s still quite green so that fact and the ground could cause him problems.”
Earthlight has already won two Group Ones for Fabre this season, including a red-hot renewal of the Middle Park last week, and the legendary handler believes Victor Ludorum compares favourably with him in terms of ability.
“I would say Victor Ludorum would have more or less the same ability as Earthlight, but obviously he just has less experience before running in a Group One,” he said.
Savarin’s main rival in the Prix Marcel Boussac appears to be the Jessica Harrington-trained Albigna, who won her first two starts but was in season when disappointing in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
“It was a big relief we found a reason why she was beaten in the Moyglare,” said Alan Cooper, racing manager to owner the Niarchos Family.
“It was too bad to be true and Shane (Foley) reported she was agitated before going into the stalls.
“She’s in fine form now and we’re looking forward to the challenge on Sunday. You can’t read anything into what happened in the Moyglare.
“I don’t think a mile will be a worry and I can’t see soft ground as a big problem – her dam is by Selkirk. She worked very nicely on Tuesday when I saw her and there had been a lot of rain overnight.”
Aidan O’Brien runs Armory in the Jean-Luc Lagardere against Victor Ludorum.
He looked promising in winning the Futurity Stakes, but was beaten nine lengths by Pinatubo in the National Stakes last time out.
“He’s in good form. He had a good run in the National Stakes and we always thought that he would be very happy stepping up to a mile,” said O’Brien.
“He’s a very straight-forward horse and everything has gone well since his last run.”
While the British and Irish challenge in the juvenile races is thin, as ever there are plenty of runners in the Group One Prix de la Foret.
Charlie Appleby feels conditions will favour Glorious Journey, who has not run since proving seven furlongs is his trip in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
“He won the Hungerford and will definitely appreciate the softer ground,” said Appleby.
“It’s a very competitive race, but I don’t think there’s a standout horse in the field.
“I hope he’ll be very competitive.”
James Tate gave Hey Gaman a break after he could finish only fifth behind Glorious Journey at Newbury.
“He was a little bit disappointing at Newbury, but he’d had three quick runs and he was just a little bit flat on the day,” said Tate.
“He’s bouncing again now and seven furlongs at ParisLongchamp is probably his ideal distance and track.
“We used to think he needed soft ground, but he’s actually run well on better ground this year. If he handles the softer ground as he did as a younger horse, then I hope he’s got a good chance in an open race.”
Sir Dancealot has won multiple Grade Twos without being able to make the step up to the highest level and David Elsworth feels soft ground could scupper him again.
Elsworth said: “Form and logic would say he has a good chance and his draw in four should be fine. Last year he was very unfortunate as the ground was softer than good and it will probably be the same this year, which is not ideal.
“I am hoping he will run well though. He has won four Group Two races and it would be fitting if he won a Group One.”
Forever In Dreams was second to Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup and while she disappointed in the Haydock Sprint Cup, a valid reason emerged and she steps up in trip for the first time.
“She scoped dirty after Haydock which was a shame as we’d targeted the race, but at least we had a reason for it,” said trainer Aidan Fogarty.
“We’d beaten the winner (Hello Youmzain) at Ascot, so it was a bitter pill.
“You never know if they’ll stay until you try, but we are hopeful.”
John Gosden’s Mehdaayih is a short price for the Prix de l’Opera as she steps back up in trip having been reeled in by Deirdre in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.