Slippers bids for historic Abbaye double

Eaves optimistic as soft ground prevails.

  • Saturday 03 October
  • News
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Jockey Tom Eaves believes Glass Slippers has what it takes to become the fifth dual winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.

Lochsong was the last to complete back-to-back victories in 1993 and 1994, and Glass Slippers’ prospects of repeating her success 12 months ago have been boosted by the withdrawal of Battaash due to the testing conditions on Sunday.

Plenty of cut in the ground holds no fears for the Kevin Ryan-trained filly, who appears to thrive at this time of year.

After being beaten by Battaash on her first two starts this term, the four-year-old showed she was coming to form at the right time with victory in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh last month.

“It was soft ground last year, and she won it well,” said Eaves.

“She has come out of Ireland well, and we are looking forward to Sunday.

“She’s in good form, and came to herself at this time last year.”

Glass Slippers has been drawn wide in stall 10 of the 11 runners, which some pundits see as a negative – but that does not worry Eaves.

“I’ll ride her as I find her, as normal – she’s quite versatile like that,” he added.

“She’s got form on the track. She’s won there twice and she’s got form on slow ground – (so) it’s fingers crossed.”

Keep Busy and Liberty Beach were second and seventh respectively behind Glass Slippers at the Curragh.

They are both trained by John Quinn, who is expecting a bold show from them.

“They are two good fillies,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“Liberty Beach has had a good year. She has run well every time – maybe she was a bit disappointing at Goodwood, but they aren’t machines. She ran well at the Curragh, but didn’t get much luck.

“She has form on soft ground. She ran well in the Queen Mary on soft ground last year, and she’s fit and well.

“Keep Busy is in very good form. She ran very well at the Curragh and she relishes soft ground.

“I think they will run well – and that one of them will win! We are hoping for a bit of luck.”

With the mud flying, hopes are also high the Denis Hogan-trained Make A Challenge will make his presence felt.

The five-year-old has been in tremendous form this season and will again be ridden by Joe Doyle, who said: “By the sound of things, it is going to be plenty testing. Our lad would love it to be up to his knees – he’s absolutely exceptional on very soft ground.

“I don’t think I would swap my lad for anything else in the race if it turns up to be very testing.

“I think he has come on from the last day (fifth to Glass Slippers) – perhaps he was getting it a little easy at Listed level, and I think the last day just sharpened him up. He’s going to have to be sharp – take nothing for granted, it is a massive task in front of him.

“The horse is in savage order – and if things go right for us, he could run an absolutely massive race.”

Meanwhile, James Fanshawe believes it is worth taking a punt with Archer’s Dream – because she too will relish the underfoot conditions.

“The Abbaye closed early, so we had her entered,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“She could have run in the Rous Stakes at Ascot (subsequently abandoned for waterlogging on Saturday) – but with all the rain in France, we decided to give it a go.

“She’s got a bit to find, but is very well. She travelled very well to the furlong pole in the Haydock Sprint Cup and will love the ground.”

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