International

Back

Ghaiyyath and Willie John head four-strong British turnout in Paris feature

Prix du Prince d'Orange | Group 3 | 1m2f | 3yo

One-time Derby hopes Ghaiyyath and Willie John finally get to meet but in the unlikely surroundings of Longchamp in the Group 3 Prix du Prince d'Orange, the final three-year-olds-only race of the season at that level in Europe.

At the start of the season Godolphin's Ghaiyyath was around fourth favourite for Epsom glory after his impressive victory in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last October.

Sadly, the son of Dubawi sustained a leg injury in April when being prepared for the Dante Stakes at York the following month and has had a long road back to fitness.

Ghaiyyath has impressed in his recent work on the Limekilns in Newmarket, where he has been partnered by Saturday's jockey William Buick and will not mind any ease in the ground.

Trainer Charlie Appleby said: "Ghaiyyath met with a setback in the spring but his preparation going into this race has gone well. We're looking forward to getting him back on track, although he will come forward for whatever he does this weekend."

As well as Ghaiyyath, Appleby also fields Stage Magic in the seven-runner contest, himself not long back from a break since appearing at the Newmarket Craven meeting in the spring.

He added: "Stage Magic has been off since the spring and has been gelded, which has definitely helped with his focus.

"He also showed a high level of form as a two-year-old, winning a Group 3, and this will be a stepping stone towards hopefully taking him out to Dubai for the winter."

Chief opponent looks to be the unbeaten Willie John, who scored on his first start for Roger Varian over this trip at Doncaster in August and has bypassed a few loftier engagements since.

The son of Dansili, winner of his sole outing at two for William Haggas, famously changed hands for a cool 1.9 million guineas at Tattersalls last February.

Varian said: "Willie John won in good style at Doncaster and I have been very pleased with his homework since. This looks a strong but select field, although we feel he is ready for the step up in grade."

The fourth British challenger is Chilean, trained by Martin Meade, who bids to bounce back from a few recent below-par efforts but did win a Group 3 over a mile at the track in April.

On the same card, Bella Ragazza (Hughie Morrison), Expressly and Hadith (both Charlie Appleby), Awesometank (William Haggas) and Adorable (Mick Channon) give Britain an extremely strong hand in the Group 3 Prix Bertrand de Tarragon. 

There is also British interest in the Listed Preis de Medienhauses DuMont Rheinland at Cologne on Saturday via I'll Have Another (Mark Johnston) and Wee Jim (Jason Ward).

Share/Bookmark