Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 23 February 2017

O'Brien to end Prix Jean jinx with Zoffany

A select field of seven goes to post for the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly tomorrow, a Group One that has yet to fall the way of Aidan O'Brien.

The Ballydoyle handler relies on Zoffany to tackle Andre Fabre's unbeaten Mutual Trust, while Richard Hannon, who won the race last year with Dick Turpin, saddles Strong Suit. With Ryan Moore up, Zoffany may represent a touch of value at 5/2.

A classy juvenile, Zoffany has taken time to come to hand this term. When he made his reappearance at the end of May, he finished second to Bewitched at Leopardstown, and he improved on that to give Frankel a fright at Royal Ascot next time. More than anything, that run confirmed that Zoffany stayed a mile. If he can progress again now, O'Brien could bring the valuable three-year-old prize back to Ballydoyle for a first time since Night Alert obliged for his namesake Vincent in 1980.

Also tomorrow, Pistolet Noir can get off the mark over fences in the beginners' chase at Market Rasen. Once a smart hurdler, Paul Nicholls' charge returned to something like his old self when second on his fencing debut at Cartmel in May.

Irish Independent

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