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French Oaks Preview

The first three home in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French Guineas) are set to renew rivalry. Flotilla had an alternative engagement in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot but connections have decided to keep her at home for the French classic.

The Andre Fabre-trained Esoterique was sent off 2-1 favourite for the Guineas but was just collared by Flotilla and beaten a neck. Her stable companion Tasaday took up the running going well two furlongs from home but was left trailing by the front pair and has four lengths to make up.

Flotilla won at the Breeders’ Cup last November and Mikel Delzangles produced her in peak condition to win the Guineas without a previous outing. Christophe Lemaire rode a perfect waiting race on the filly to pounce late and deny Fabre a fourth victory in the race.

Sage Melody was used in a pacemaking role for Flotilla in the Guineas and similar tactics will almost certainly be employed over this longer trip.

Carlos Laffon-Parias relies on dual Group 1 winner Silasol as he bids for a first success in the race. Silasol won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac as a two-year-old and she has been campaigned with the Oaks as her major target.

Her season did not get off to the best of starts when she made the running only to be readily overhauled by Esoterique in the Prix Vanteux. Those tactics had worked for her in the Marcel Boussac but Olivier Peslier decided to hold her up last time in Prix Saint-Alary. She got up in the last stride to beat Alteride and Ferevia by a short head and a short neck.

It was a great run by stable companion Ferevia but Laffon-Parias feels that she needs soft ground to show her best. Alterade will take her on again but Ferevia will probably run in the Prix de Malleret.

The best of the rest could be Pearlside who finished strongly in third in the Prix Vanteaux, just a short head behind Silasol.