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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 26th May 2024

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from The Curragh & ParisLongchamp

The Curragh

Lanwades Stud Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) 2.35
Rogue Millennium
Rogue Millenium won the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot on good ground, and that trip and ground seem to be the key to unlocking her full potential. Though she was highly tried following that Group 2 success, she couldn’t reproduce that form on soft ground or over 10 furlongs when sent into the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera. Sold out of Tom Clover’s yard for a princely sum, she goes well fresh and gets her ground and trip here

Tattersalls Gold Cup (Group 1) 3.10
White Birch (nb)
The hat-trick seeking White Birch can take this Gold Cup at the expense of hot Favourite Auguste Rodin. Aidan O’Brien’s dual Derby and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner couldn’t justify favouritism when trailing in last at Meydan back in March, so questions remain over his current form. White Birch on the other hand has returned a better model this season, with two starts and two wins here, and although he has done his best work for John Murphy on ground with plenty of cut in it, the trainer thinks he acts on good going too. Adrian Murray’s Elegant Man is also in the picture, but White Birch has more to come and hasn’t reached his ceiling yet

Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Fillies) 3.45
Opera Singer
It’s hard to get away from the appeal of Aidan O’Brien’s Opera Singer for the feature. She’s by American superstar Justify, the unbeaten Bob Baffert colt who finished his career with a win in the Belmont Stakes over 12 furlongs. There’s stamina in that breeding which came into play when Opera Singer was a 5 length winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp when she was last seen. Karl Burke’s British raider Fallen Angel didn’t really fire in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but has Group 1 form here from the Moyglare last year. A Lilac Roller and Purple Lily also make appeal, but it’s Opera Singer they all have to aim at

Heider Family Stables Gallinule Stakes (Group 3) 4.15
Spoken Truth
This Group 3 looks a straight showdown between Dermot Weld’s Spoken Truth and Aidan O’Brien’s Chief Little Rock. It’s notable that Ryan Moore has taken the ride on Mundi instead of Chief Little Rock after just the one outing at Dundalk, but that should please Wayne Lordan. Spoken Truth landed a Maiden at Cork with plenty in hand, and quickly moves into Pattern company, so his trainer is using this as a prep run for the Irish Derby at the end of June. More to come from Spoken Truth, so this Frankel colt gets the nudge ahead of Chief Little Rock


Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (Group 2) 1.28
Sevenna’s Knight
Sevenna’s Knight couldn’t have been more impressive that when winning here last month, taking 8 lengths out of the field in the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville, The re-opposing Double Major looked a little ring-rusty on his seasonal reappearance, so more would be expected of him this time. Shembala was the runner-up in that race, relegating Double Major to third, but Sevenna’s Knight wouldn’t have to improve much to take this Group 2

Prix d’Ispahan (Group 1) 2.40
Blue Rose Cen (nap)
The French 1,000 Guineas winner last year was the outstanding three year old in France last year, and is taken to start this campaign with a Group 1 win here. She won the Prix de l’Opera here in her last start in October to make it eight wins from twelve starts, and this Churchill filly’s record at ParisLongchamp is five from six. That said, the fly in the ointment could be the progressive Mqse De Sevigne who chased home Frankie Dettori on Inspiral in the Sun Chariot at the back end of last season, and has warmed up for this with an easy enough win in a Listed contest here. Blue Rose Cen has more to come as a four year old so is taken to get upsides of the improving Mqse De Sevigne

Prix du Palais-Royal (Group 3) 3.15
Yosemite Valley
Donnacha O’Brien has brought Yosemite Valley over to France in search of the best ground for his Shamardal colt, having twice withdrawn him on home soil in recent weeks. Never out of the first two in his last six starts, Yosemite Valley has a couple of Group Ones to choose from at Royal Ascot if the ground is right, so this Group 3 should be just the ticket as a prep run. Breizh Sky is the one to give Yosemite Valley the most to think about, but Donnacha O’Brien’s colt hasn’t hit his ceiling yet, so gets the nudge

The Mandarin

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