Both French Guineas take place at ParisLongchamp on Sunday, with the Group 1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) attracting a field of 12.
The Andre Fabre-trained Persian King is the prohibitive favourite at 10/11 and brings in a four from five career record; making a perfect start to 2019 with a dominant five length win in the Prix de Fontainebleau over course and distance. Fabre swerved Newmarket in order to run the Godolphin colt here and he’ll be hard to beat, with a frame that suggests he will have improved for that seasonal debut.
Fabre also runs Munitions, who only scrambled home from the re-opposing Graignes at Maisons-Laffitte last time. As his price suggests, that form doesn’t look quite good enough.
Of the French contingent, another who should not be ignored is Shaman, who is two from two this season, including in Group 3 company here over a mile and a furlong, while Anodor, making his seasonal debut, is also respected, for trainer [Freddy Head](https://gg.co.uk/racing/form-profile-260990.
Aidan O’Brien has won this race four times and he sends over Never No More, the mount of Ryan Moore, and Van Beethoven, who William Buick rides. The former, two from two this campaign, including beating Newmarket Guineas fourth Madhmoon at Leopardstown latest, looks the pick and is value at 7/1.
It’s a good edition, but it’s hard to get away from Persian King who can provide Monsieur Fabre with a seventh win in the first Classic of the season.
By contrast, Fabre has won the fillies’ version, the Pouliches, a mere three times. He runs 5/1 chance Suphala this time; the Frankel filly needing to reverse Prix Imprudence form with favourite Watch Me. The Francis Graffard-trained filly hung on by a neck at Maisons-Laffitte and this trip may suit Suphala better, so she is fancied to turn that around.
However, better than both of them might be Castle Lady, who has been supplemented into this race following a smooth win in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, over course and distance, a month ago. That was just her second start, and first on turf, and she can improve again.
Far from overlooked is Matematica, who was second here in Group 1 company in October and who was a three-length winner of a minor race at Chantilly last time out. while Kevin Ryan sends over his G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ runner-up East. That form has been dealt a knock, however, and it may pay to stick with France here and take a chance on Matematica in an open-looking race.