ROBERT COOPER OFF THE BOX

TV celebrity with fan­cies for week­end

The Racing Paper - - Front Page - ROBERT COOPER

Paris on the first week­end of Oc­to­ber is sans doute the place to be. The spank­ing new fa­cil­i­ties at Longchamp will be put to the test to­mor­row on the only day of the year when they are truly tried out. For some bizarre rea­son, to­day’s ex­cel­lent card re­ceives ‘le cold-shoul­der’ from the lo­cal pun­ters al­though there will be plenty from these shores mak­ing the trek via the trusty Eurostar.

I met one such en­thu­si­ast by the cold meats counter at my lo­cal branch of Sains­bury’s in Chip­ping Nor­ton. He could hardly con­tain his ex­cite­ment as he pon­dered the ham slices on of­fer.

He will not be alone, in an­tic­i­pat­ing a vic­tory for EN­ABLE [3.05 LONGCHAMP/Sun­day] to make it an ex­penses paid jaunt. The new grand­stands will be packed to the rafters and there are bound to be some truly long and horse-shaped faces if John Gos­den’s filly fails to de­liver, and they could be­come even more elon­gated if BATTAASH [4.25 LONGCHAMP/Sun] fails to haul pun­ters from the mire if EN­ABLE gets turned over.

It’s a strange one. I haven’t had a cent on EN­ABLE but have in­vested (prob­a­bly the wrong word) a few Eu­ros on both WALDGEIST (stall 13) and SEA OF CLASS (stall 15). While EN­ABLE and Frankie Det­tori are sit­ting pretty in stall 6, my duo is up against it, when forced to travel near ‘le car-parc’ and Boudot and Doyle [weren’t they in the TV cop show The Pro­fes­sion­als in?] will hope to slot in with­out for­feit­ing too much ground.

In re­cent times only GOLDEN HORN in 2015 has over­come such a wide berth, and that was chiefly down to an ut­terly ‘mag­nifique’ ride from Det­tori – prob­a­bly the finest of his record five Arcs.

Vic­tory for EN­ABLE would also merit a mam­moth achieve­ment by her trainer; it’s been a near night­mare for John Gos­den ac­tu­ally get­ting his filly to the race­course this year. Her be­lated sea­sonal de­but was at Kempton last month when she trounced CRYS­TAL OCEAN who had pre­vi­ously gone down by a neck in the King Ge­orge As­cot, one of the top races of the year.

It was a bril­liant per­for­mance from EN­ABLE and it will take an ex­tra­or­di­nary per­for­mance to pre­vent her fol­low­ing in TREVE’S fa­mous hoof­prints in 2013 and 2014.

So, as far as bet­ting goes, I will stray into re­verse ex­acta ter­ri­tory. EN­ABLE, SEA OF CLASS and WALDGEIST are the trio. I was im­pressed by SEA OF CLASS’ vic­tory in the York­shire Oaks, but even more so by WALDGEIST’s im­pres­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion to win the Prix Foy over course and dis­tance last month. His trainer An­dre Fabre has won an as­ton­ish­ing seven Arcs but none since RAIL LINK in 2006. The mas­ter trainer ap­pears to have pro­duced WALDGEIST pitch-per­fect for an­other tri­umph – he looks EN­ABLE’s most se­ri­ous ri­val.

Very few ju­ve­niles have im­pressed me more than Richard Han­non’s BOITRON [155 LONGCHAMP/Sun­day] who must have more than a sport­ing chance of beat­ing the two mar­ket prin­ci­pals, AN­THONY VAN DYCK and ANODOR in the Prix Jean-Luc La­gardere.

My con­fi­dence stems purely from the vis­ual im­pres­sion of his three vic­to­ries rather than the qual­ity of ri­vals he beat. BOITRON is clearly thriv­ing and he looks sure to run well.

Back home to­day we’re not short of some high qual­ity rac­ing. At New­mar­ket the Group One Sun Char­iot Stakes looks well up to stan­dard. An­dre Fabre runs WIND CHIMES here rather than in Paris and she ran her best race of the sea­son last time in the ‘Moulin’ at Longchamp.

Karl Burke’s out­stand­ingly ro­bust filly LAU­RENS turned over a be­low-par AL­PHA CEN­TAURI at Leop­ard­stown and she’ll bat­tle all the way from the front. Al­though two lengths adrift of LAU­RENS in Ire­land, I reckon CLEM­MIE [3.15 NEW­MAR­KET] could be re­turn­ing to the level of form that saw her win the Cheve­ley Park Stakes last au­tumn. Her trainer Ai­dan O’Brien runs three, but CLEM­MIE gets the Ryan Moore seal of ap­proval. She also looks a filly to bear in mind for the Breed­ers’ Cup next month.

There’s an­other ‘moth in the head­lights’ ir­re­sistible hand­i­cap at As­cot and sev­eral old friends, or maybe fiends, are in the 18-run­ner line-up.

It’s fas­ci­nat­ing that top Ir­ish apprentice Ben Coen has been booked for FLAM­ING SPEAR, how­ever the Dean Ivory sta­ble is go­ing through a quiet spell. RIP ORF loves it at As­cot and also has the as­sis­tance of a tal­ented apprentice, Ja­son Wat­son. GILGAMESH showed a re­turn to form last week­end, so too did ES­CO­BAR but the fore­cast rain may lessen his solid chances. SHADY McCOY [3.35 AS­COT] will be my each-way bet, he’s gone close a few times this sea­son, in­clud­ing at As­cot, but so far no cigar. He’s ul­tra con­sis­tent, hanat dles any ground and I’ll leave the rest to Jim Crow­ley.

The spotlight doesn’t of­ten shine on Redcar but to­day’s Two Year Old Tro­phy is the high point of their sea­son. I’ve been on the course a few times when STRICT TEMPO [2.45 REDCAR] has raced and my over­all im­pres­sion is that she’s im­prov­ing with ev­ery out­ing. She was very baby­ish on her first two starts, both at Bath, but still showed abil­ity. Her lat­est race, when fail­ing by a di­min­ish­ing neck to win a hot nurs­ery at Don­caster, con­vinces me that she’s still not the fin­ished ar­ti­cle; nev­er­the­less I’m ex­pect­ing fur­ther progress to­day.

An­drew Bald­ing’s filly is half sis­ter to DANC­ING STAR and FOXTROT LADY who was third in this event last year. Which­ever side of the Chan­nel you are punt­ing, bon chance mes braves.

“Vic­tory for EN­ABLE would merit a mam­moth achieve­ment by her trainer; it’s been a near night­mare for John Gos­den ac­tu­ally get­ting his filly to the race­course this year”

Look­ing pitch-per­fect: Waldgeist is En­able’s most se­ri­ous ri­val

Mas­ter: An­dre Fabre

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