SUNDAY'S impressive Curragh scorer Adelaide is among 21 horses going forward for this weekend’s Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge was narrowly beaten in Longchamp’s Prix Hocquart on his three-year-old debut and returned to Irish soil to slam stable companion Mekong River in the Group Three Gallinule Stakes.
The Galileo colt could turn out quickly for the French Derby, although the master of Ballydoyle also has Johann Strauss and Geoffrey Chaucer in contention. The latter is expected to join stable companion Australia in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday week. Kevin Ryan looks set to be represented in the mile-and-a-quarter contest by The Grey Gatsby, winner of the Dante Stakes at York.
The other British-trained contender is Roger Varian’s Ayrad, who would be taking a huge step up in class following a bloodless victory in a Hamilton maiden. Heading the French team is Jonathan Pease’s Karakontie, who is in line for a Classic double following success in the French 2000 Guineas.
Al Thakhira could be prepared for a return to Ireland later this summer after failing to get home in Sunday’s Irish 1,000 Guineas. Marco Botti’s filly looked likely to play a part in the finish to the Curragh Classic when produced to challenge in the straight by Richard Hughes, but her finishing effort was tame and she eventually trailed home last. Botti is keen to drop Al Thakhira in trip on her next appearance, with Fairyhouse’s Brownstown Stakes on July 2 a potential target.
“She has come out of the race OK and I just think the stiff mile at the Curragh was too much for her,” said the trainer.
“Richard said he thought she could be placed coming to the final furlong, but she emptied very quickly and I think it’s clear she hasn’t got the trip.
“It was only two weeks after the French Guineas, but because the ground was in her favour, we decided to let her take her chance.
“I am not that surprised she didn’t stay as, in that ground at the Curragh, you really need to stay a mile and a quarter and she is bred to be a six- or seven-furlong filly. There is a Group Three at Fairyhouse on July 2, the Brownstown Stakes. That could be her next race.”