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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 10th September 2023

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from The Curragh & ParisLongchamp

The Curragh

Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Bold Lad’ Sprint Handicap (Premier Handicap) 1.50
David O’Meara’s veteran sprinter showed all of the ability remains when dead-heating for the Constantine Handicap at York last month. This is his time of year, and there’s every reason to expect him to be on the premises once more. He’s got top-weight to shoulder here, but the notable booking of Colin Keane adds to the appeal. Solid each-way claims at the least

Moyglare ‘Jewels’ Blandford Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) 2.25
It may pay to side with Henry Candy’s Araminta for this Group 2, after she showed plenty of grit to score in the Prix Chloe at Chantilly last time out. She’s versatile as to the going, which may giver her the edge over Jackie Oh, who looks the pick of the Aidan O’Brien quartet on jockey bookings. Ryan Moore will know that Jackie Oh would prefer a little juice in the ground, so if The Curragh stays clear of any rain, he won’t be giving Araminta too much rope. A good contest in store between these two, but Araminta just looks more progressive, so gets the nudge

Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes (Group 1) 2.55
Art Power (nap)
What a race in store, and fitting that this Group 1 should feature three of the fastest things on four legs. Highfield Princess was outstanding last year, winning three Group 1’s on the trot, including this race. This term, she has landed the King George at Goodwood, but has been beaten by a few others in the division. Bradsell, however, has already got form over Highfield Princess this season, in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top this time. Art Power, born not far from here, loves this track, and has yet to be beaten at Irish Headquarters. Plenty of pace in these three, but Art Power lights up when he comes here, and can keep his unbeaten record intact in a real thriller

Moyglare Stud Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies) 3.25
Ylang Ylang
This Frankel filly looks one right out of the top drawer, and has course and distance form to bring to this Group 1. In her last race, the Group 3 Silver Flash at Leopardstown, she made all to get upsides of the re-opposing Vespertilio, and there’s no reason to expect a reverse of those placings. Very hard to oppose Ylang Ylang, with an ideal draw in Stall 4. The one to beat

Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Group 1) 4.00
Bucanero Fuerte
Adrian Murray holds the key to this prestigious Group 1 with Bucanero Fuerte, who looks ripe for a step up to this trip. This Wootton Bassett colt already has a Group 1 in the bag, when scoring in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes on this track four weeks ago, and is unbeaten here at Headquarters in three starts. There’s surely more to come now taking on 7 furlongs for the first time, though there has been plenty of money for City Of Troy in the ante-post markets. Aidan O’Brien’s Justify colt made a huge impression when bolting home in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, 6 lengths clear of a decent field. Henry Longfellow is also a solid contender for the Ballydoyle team, but Bucanero Fuerte just edges it in a fascinating race

Comer Group International Irish St Leger Stakes (Group 1) 4.35
The outstanding Kyprios makes his long-awaited return to the track after a spring setback, but reports from the yard suggest he’s ready to fire in this final Irish Classic of the season. He looked all but unbeatable last season, winning four Group 1’s on the bounce, making the great Stradivarius look vulnerable in his final races, and ended his season with a signature 20 length romp in the Prix du Cadran at Parislongchamp. If he’s back to his best, just about impossible to oppose, but if there is any hint of being ring-rusty, then stablemate Emily Dickinson and British raider Eldar Eldarov will be ready to capitalise. Kyprios is a class above his rivals here, so if race fit, should be winning this


Qatar Prix Foy (Group 2) 1.33
Place Du Carrousel
A small field for this Group 2, but there’s only Iresine and Place Du Carrousel to sort out who goes to the winner’s enclosure. Jean-Paul Gauvin’s Iresine was last seen winning the Group 1 Prix Ganay here back in April, so this ease in grade looks a nice return to racing action on a track that has become his main hunting ground. Iresine looks well treated for this Group 2, but Place Du Carrousel is one going the right way, with race fitness assured, so gets the tick in the final appraisal

Qatar Prix Vermeille (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) 2.50
Blue Rose Cen (nb)
The standout three-year-old filly of this season, already having the French 1,000 Guineas and the French Oaks in the book. She can be excused her run in the Nassau at Goodwood, where her run from the inside rail was hampered, and the switch outside cost all her momentum. There’s been plenty of ante-post market support for the Yorkshire Oaks winner, Irish raider Warm Heart, but Blue Rose Cen is classy, and unbeaten at this track, so has to be the one to follow

Qatar Prix Neil (Group 2) 3.25
Feed The Flame
The Grand Prix de Paris winner, Feed The Flame, has to be a warm order favourite to retain his unbeaten record on this track. Frau Steinberg’s Fantastic Moon, and the surprise winner of the French 2,000 Guineas, Marhaba Ya Sanafi, look solid enough opposition, but Feed The Flame has a superb turn of foot, and should have the class to land this. An odds on price does reflect his quality, so hard to oppose

Qatar Prix du Pin (Group 3) 4.00
Breizh Sky
The consistent Breizh Sky has to be the one to stick with for this Group 3. A comfortable winner of the Prix de Moussac here over course and distance back in June showed his quality, and having gone from there to Group 1 company in the Prix Jean Prat, this ease in grade should put him in pole position for more Black Type. Easy to back, but not much bang for your buck

The Mandarin

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