The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from Irish Champions Weekend at The Curragh & from ParisLongchamp

The Curragh

Moyglare ‘Jewels’ Blandford Stakes (Group 2) 2.20
La Petite Coco
Paddy Twomey will be taking on Aidan O’Brien’s outstanding Love for this Group 2 prize, but La Petite Coco is the form horse after an impressive win in the Give Thanks Stakes at Cork, forging over 5 lengths clear of her closest rival. Of course, Love is a multiple Group 1 winning filly, having landed the 1,000 Guinea, The Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks in her unbeaten classic season, and she began this term well with victory in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but she’s been a touch off the boil since then so the nod is given to La Petite Coco who gets a lump of weight to aid the cause

Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes (Group 1) 2.55
Winter Power (nap)
She’s the new sprint star on the block, especially after the retirement of Battaash, and a real speed bullet as she showed in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival. That form has been franked since with the runner-up going on to take the Group 1 Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock, so Tim Easterby’s filly can land more top class honours here.

Moyglare Stud Stakes (Group 1) 3.30
Joseph O’Brien’s Caravaggio filly has been improving at a rate of knots this term, and can use her racing experience to good effect over course and distance winner, Cairde Go Deo. She was pretty impressive when landing the Group 2 Debutante Stakes here, making all, and can now take her place at the top table. Exciting

Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Group 1) 4.05
Point Lonsdale
The most exciting juvenile of 2021, Aidan O’Brien’s Australia colt won the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, beating the highly rated Reach For The Moon that runs for The Queen, and has perhaps been even more impressive with an all the way effort here over course and distance in the Futurity Stakes. He’s very hard to oppose and sure to be high on the shortlist for next year’s Guineas races

Comer Group International Irish St Leger (Group 1) 4.40
Twilight Payment
The Melbourne Cup winner has a superb record around here, winning six times from fifteen starts at headquarters. He won the St Leger Trial Stakes here last month and seems sure to be on the premises again. Leading claims


Qatar Prix Neil (Group 2) 1.33
Pretty Tiger
Fabrice Vermeulen’s stable star Pretty Tiger looks the one to follow in the first of five Pattern races in a top day of action in Paris. The Belgian former nightclub worker is going places as a trainer alongside Frenchman Jeremy Para, and the three year old colt should have more wins in him, starting here

Qatar Prix Vermeille (Group 1) 2.55
The filly of the season, Snowfall looks impossible to oppose for more Group 1 honours. She’s landed The Oaks (by a record margin), The Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks to add to her winning seasonal reappearance in the Musidora at York, and looks bulletproof on what should be good ground. Frankie Dettori makes the trip over, and he was aboard in that Oaks win, no apparent chinks in her armour, respected

Qatar Prix Foy (Group 2) 3.30
Skalleti (nb)
Jerome Reynier holds the key to this Group 2 with Skalleti, the winner of the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan, beating the smart Tilsit with a typical late burst down the outside. Down in grade here, on a track where he has a perfect record of five wins from five starts, it’s hard to see anything getting close in this before he makes the trip across the Channel to line up once more in the Champion Stakes at Ascot, where only Addeybb was too good for him last year

Qatar Prix du Petit Couvert (Group 3) 4.05
Mo Celita
Hollie Doyle can take another scalp in her already excellent season,
With Adrian Nicholls’ Mo Celita, after the pair landed the Moonlight Cloud Listed Stakes on French soil at Deauville last month. She’s back to the minimum trip here, but she’s going the right way and won’t mind the extra cut in the ground typical of the French tracks

Qatar Prix du Pin (Group 3) 4.40
Speak Of The Devil
Fred Rossi’s Wootton Bassett filly should be the answer for this Group 3, arriving here on the back of a creditable third in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville. These are calmer waters and she’s won over course and distance here before, top chance

The Mandarin

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