There is an evening treat for all racing fans on Thursday, as the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris takes place at Longchamp at 19:50pm BST. We’ve previewed all six runners below, alongside BetUK‘s latest offer where new customers can claim £30 In Free Bets when placing a £10 bet.
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L’ASTRONOME (Francis-Henri Graffard, Christophe Soumillon)
Excellent 2022 so far in which he has proved a lethal winner. Finished second on his only start at two before he got off the mark over 1m2f on soft at Chantilly. Other two wins since have both been at Longchamp, first in a conditions event, then in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart. That form may not be as strong as that which others boast, but no arguing with his strike rate. Should be fine on the ground and 1m4f likely to be no obstacle.
ONESTO (Francois Chappet, Stephane Pasquier)
Group 2 scorer who, like L’Astronome, is by Frankel. Won at Chantilly over 1m on debut before narrow defeat on only other start as a juvenile. Clearly needed the run on return at this track before readily scoring in the Group 2 Prix Greffuhle when upped in trip. No match, as all of his rivals were, for Vadeni in the Prix Du Jockey Club, but did stay on that day on the soft surface. Again, the trip is no issue, but may need a little more.
PIZ BADILE (Donnacha O’Brien, Gavin Ryan)
First of those trying to wrestle the prize away from the hosts. Runner-up in Group company as a two-year-old before a very game return saw him win the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown when he appeared beaten. Failed to take to the track at Epsom when down the field in the Derby, but stepped back up to be second in the Irish equivalent. Gap to the runaway winner Westover was seven lengths though and he may be a little below top class.
SIMCA MILLE (Stephane Wattel, Theo Bachelot)
Unable to win in first four career starts, but has since racked up quite the sequence. Won a handicap on Chantilly’s all-weather surface before a conditions success at Angers. At that point, his yard took the plunge into Group company and their charge responded in fine fashion, winning the Group 3 Prix du Lys Lingines by 3½ lengths. Established, therefore, at the trip and improving for that, so has to be considered.
ELDAR ELDAROV (Roger Varian, David Egan)
Horses who stay further regularly do well in this. Of the last four winners, all of whom have hailed from Britain or Ireland, Japan, Kew Gardens and Hurricane Lane have all gone on to win Group races over further, the latter two at the highest level. This son of Dubawi gamely got up on the line in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot to remain unbeaten and may have more to offer. Needed every yard of that trip though and this contest, though open, is tougher.
EL BODEGON (James Ferguson, Ioritz Mendizabal)
Group 1 winner last season when an inspired ride from today’s jockey saw him win the Criterium de Saint-Cloud from the front. Appeared not to have trained on when nearly last in the Dante, but stepped right back forward to be runner-up in the Prix du Jockey Club. Surprise to see early markets have him a bigger price than the fifth Onesto, as though his breeding suggests otherwise, he has looked like a step up in trip would suit. Might want the ground softer.
If using best prices as a guide, the six-strong field here are separated by just 2.5 points in the odds. It really is that close and making a decision is very tough. Slight preference is for the hosts to regain the trophy for the first time since 2017 via SIMCA MILLE, who has been rapidly improving and looked very useful when winning a Group 3 at this trip last time out. El Bodegon would challenge him for the selection if there were to be any more rain, with Eldar Eldarov and L’Astronome also separated by very little in a tight game of judgement.
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