Dubai: French ace Andre Fabre goes for back-to-back victories in the Group One Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, France on Sunday when he saddles Godolphin’s Aesop’s Fables in the prestigious 400,000 euro (Dh1.8 million) event.
Fabre won this contest a year ago with Mutual Trust and relies on Maxine Guyon who was in the saddle on the that occasion to give him a fourth win in the 1,600m race that was first run in 1858.
Aesop’s Fables was only just beaten by the progressive Moonlight Cloud on his last start but will have a lot to find on class given the depth of quality in the eight-horse field which is headed by French Fifteen.
The Nicolas Clement-trained colt finished only a neck behind Camelot in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and looks to have a good chance of ensuring theat the prize stays at home.
French Fifteen won the Group One Criterium International at Saint-Cloud last season but suffered a huge set-back in the Prix de Jockey Club (French Derby) in June when he could only finish tenth behind the Jean-Pierre Gauvin-trained Saonois.
“It was a nightmare of a race,” said the Chantilly-based trainer. “He came back with some cuts and bruises but he seems fine now.
“I’ve been very happy with his last two pieces of work and we decided this was the right race for him.
“It’s the last Group One race of the season for three-year-olds, so it’s very important.”
There are two British raiders in the field, John Gosden’s Gregorian, who was third in the St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and Mick Channon’s Arnold Lane, who 15th in the same race after running into severe traffic problems.
Gregorian represents Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has won the Prix Jean Prat on four occasions with Local Talent (1987), Kitwood (1992), Torrential (1995), Starborough (1997).
Group Three winner Xanadou, Coup de Theatre and Sofast complete the line-up.
At Chantilly, France
Prix Jean Prat (Group 1)
Purse: €400,000 (3yo) 1,600m
1 21-120 French Fifteen
2 220-10 Arnold Lane
3 125-33 Aesop´s Fables
4 1-1503 Gregorian
5 -12166 Coup De Theatre
6 11-141 Xanadou
7 58-191 Caspar Netscher
8 12-320 Sofast
Odds: French Fifteen (2/1), Xanadou (9/4), Gregorian (11/4), Sofast (7/2), Aesop’s Fables (8/1), Caspar Netscher (8/1), Arnold Lane (12/1), Coup De Theatre (14/1)