Meehan hoping for Wonder show in French 1000 Guineas
J Wonder looks the leading hope among a four strong British raiding party in the the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp (14.08, Sunday, May 11th).
Trained by Brian Meehan, the daugther of Footstepsinthesand won twice from three starts as a juvenile and made a winning return to action in the Fred Darling at Newbury.
She didn’t get the clearest of runs at the Breskhire track but showed a smart turn of foot to take up the running inside the last and hold off Al Thakhira by a head.
The performance left Meehan contemplating a crack at the 1000 Guineas, but the Newmarket handler decided conditions in this French equivalent would be much more to her liking.
He is confident that J Wonder will run a “huge race” and has made sure she will get every assistance in the saddle by snapping up the services of leading French jockey Christophe Lemaire.
Another plus is that J Wonder has secured a good draw in stall 1, and the race is likely to be run to suit.
Most French races are run at a slow gallop early doors before turning into a sprint in the last two furlongs, and that will be ideal for J Wonder and her potent turn of foot.
Al Thakhira, narrowly denied by J Wonder in the Fred Darling, is set to renew rivalry but has not be done any favours by being handed stall 13.
The Marco Botti trained filly showed she was a classy sort when winning the Group2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket over 7f as a juvenile, but I am not convinced that she will stay a mile.
The daughter of Dubawi was beaten out of sight on her only try over it in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and seemed to run out of puff close home in the Fed Darling having travelled strongly into the race.
The other British raiders are the Charlie Hills-trained Queen Catrine and Rae Guest’s Cape Factor.
The former had some smart form as a juvenile and wasn’t disgraced when fifth behind Sandiva in the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on her seasonal reappearance.
However, that form does not look strong and the daughter of Acclamation will have to step up markedly to get involved in this.
Cap Factor is far more interesting, having won four of her five starts as a juvenile.
The daughter of Oratorio was very impressive in the last of those when scoring by 1 1/2 lengths in a Listed contest at Newmarket, and looks the type open to further progress as a three-year-old.
The home team’s leading hopes are Lesstalk In Paris, Bawina, Veda and Indonesienne.
Lesstalk In Paris looks the pick of the quartet and a deserved market leader.
The Jean-Claude Rouget trained filly has won three of her four starts, and showed a high cruising speed and good turn of foot when landing the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte last time out over course and distance.
The daughter of Cape Cross has shown that she can do it from the front or behind, and with course and distance winning form to her name looks the one they all have to beat.