Tuesday 20 February 2018

O'Brien trio in Chantilly mix

Highland Reel
Highland Reel

Aidan O'Brien has left three horses in the running for Sunday Prix de Jockey Club at Chantilly.

The Ballydoyle handler could call upon French 2000 Guineas sixth and seventh Highland Reel and War Envoy, as well as Cape Clear Island, who finished second in the Prix Hocquart at Longchamp most recently.

The unbeaten Sumbal is highly likely to run on Sunday and not be supplemented for the Investec Derby.

There had been speculation the colt, owned by Qatar Racing, might be added to the field for the premier Classic at Epsom on Saturday week.

However, trainer Francis-Henri Graffard has revealed the son of Danehill Dancer looks like staying at home for the French Derby.

"I think it is 90 per cent certain he will run at Chantilly on Sunday," said Graffard.

"The horse is very well."

Sumbal only made his racecourse debut in March and entered Classic calculations when completing a hat-trick in the Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud earlier this month.

However, he only beat two rivals as the hot favourite Epicuris was withdrawn after refusing to go into the stalls.

Fourteen horses remained in the Chantilly showpiece at the latest acceptance stage.

The Aga Khan's Karaktar, convincing winner of both his starts this term for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre, stood his ground.

Another leading contender is likely to be Andre Fabre's New Bay, who was second in the French 2000 Guineas. The son of Dubawi is owned by Khalid Abdullah.

Press Association

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