Christophe Ferland is confident Dabirsim can get back on the winning trail in the Poule D'Essai Des Poulains, the French 2000 Guineas, at Longchamp today.
The three-year-old went through a stellar juvenile campaign unbeaten and was, not surprisingly, a red-hot favourite to make a winning return in last month's Prix de Fontainebleau. But having been ridden with the utmost confidence by Christophe Soumillon, who was taking the ride for the first time, he was caught in the very last stride by Dragon Pulse.
Soumillon came in for plenty of criticism, but Ferland believes he will have learned plenty about the colt. "Everything has gone well since his comeback, we've had no problems at all, and the horse seems to be in good form. He looks like has improved for that race when we work him, but he only does what we ask in the morning and no more," Ferland said.
There are a total of five challengers from this side of the Channel, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair Furner's Green and Vault joined by three British contenders. O'Brien saddles Up and After in the Poule D'Essai Des Pouliches -- the French 1000 Guineas. A third major Irish contender is David Wachman's Fire Lily, who was beaten just a neck by last weekend's Newmarket 1000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen at Leopardstown a month ago.
Meanwhile, Bonfire heads 12 confirmed for the Betfred Dante Stakes at York on Thursday. Andrew Balding's highly-promising colt looks like being re-routed to the Knavesmire if conditions are suitable.
Akeed Mofeed will not be aimed at the Investec Derby at Epsom next month after meeting with another setback. The John Oxx-trained three-year-old was due to run in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown today, but has suffered a strained hock
Sunday Indo Sport