Victor Ludorum heads eight declarations for Monday’s Prix de Fontainebleau at ParisLongchamp.
French racing has been on hold since March due to the coronavirus crisis, but is set to make a high-profile return with no less than four Group races on the card, which will be live on Sky Sports Racing.
Victor Ludorum in the headline act in the traditional French 2000 Guineas trial over a mile, with Andre Fabre’s colt unbeaten in three juvenile starts, culminating in Group One glory in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere last October.
He is a son of Shamardal, who died last month, and Hugh Anderson, managing director of Godolphin UK and Dubai, hopes Victor Ludorum can demonstrate his star potential.
He told www.godolphin.com “We are delighted that our season here in Europe will start with Victor Ludorum going in the Prix de Fontainebleau on Monday.
“We very sadly lost his outstanding sire Shamardal last month and it is very appropriate that we will see one of his brilliant three-year-old colts in action on day one of this season.”
Ecrivain, Helter Skelter and Kenway finished behind Victor Ludorum last October, but they all reoppose with The Summit, Memory Dream, Pisanello and Devil completing the line up.
The Prix de la Grotte, a trial for the French 1000 Guineas, has drawn a field of 10 topped by Freddy Head’s Khayzaraan.
She won two of her three starts last year and has been mentioned as a Classic contender.
Fabre’s Tropbeau was last seen finishing third in the Cheveley Park Stakes and she will be opposition along with Group Three scorer Dream And Do and Quiet Times, who was a Listed winner in March before racing was suspended.
The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Sottsass is another huge name to make his seasonal bow in the 10-furlong Prix d’Harcourt.
Last year’s French Derby and Prix Niel winner was last seen when finishing third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Shaman, who finished second in the 2019 French 2000 Guineas, Royal Julius and Simona also feature in a nine-strong field.
The Group Three Prix de Saint-Georges gets the action underway with last year’s victor Sestilio Jet back to defend his title.
Batwan, Ken Colt, Gold Vibe and Forza Capitano finished second, third, fourth and fifth respectively in 2019 and they are back for more in a race with 10 contenders.