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Integral the key player in Sun Chariot Stakes

Integral can make her class tell to fend off a strong French challenge and land the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket today (3.30).

The Sir Michael Stoute trained filly has done nothing but improve throughout her career and boasts a terrific strike rate of five wins from just nine starts.

After looking in need of a run when going down by just a head to Esoterique in the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes on her seasonal reappearance, Integral showed the benefit of that outing when running out an easy winner of the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

This four-year-old was always travelling well on the heels of the leaders in the Group 2 contest. After making smooth headway two from home, she showed a good turn of foot to shoot clear approaching the final furlong and beat L’Amour De Ma Vie with far more in hand than the winning margin of two lengths suggests.

The ultra-progressive daughter of Dalakhani then gained a much deserved Group 1 success when staying on strongly to beat Rizeena by two lengths in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket. She did disappoint last time out, though, when just third of four to Esoterique in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville when sent off the 8/13 favourite.

Integral was unsuited by the small field in what turned into a tactical, slowly-run affair and, although beaten 2 1/2 lengths, there is little doubt in my mind that she is much better than what she showed.

Indeed, off a rating of 117, Integral is the top rated runner in this contest, and I strongly fancy her to bounce back to land the spoils in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Esoterique is an obvious danger if taking her win over Integral in the Prix Rothschild at face value, but stable companion Fintry could well emerge as a bigger threat.

Both are trained in France by Andre Fabre, and Fintry has the profile of a highly progressive and exciting filly who has untapped potential.

The daughter of Shamardal has won four of her five starts, including a Group 2 at Chantilly and the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown last time out.

Fintry was reported to be only 80 per cent fit going into the latter, but travelled strongly throughout and showed a smart turn of foot to easily beat Odeliz by 1 1/4 lengths.

This is much tougher, but the manner of that success suggested that Fintry was the real deal and would be up to making an impact in Group 1 contests.