BRYAN Smart lifted the Prix de l’Abbaye – France’s premier sprint – three years ago with Tangerine Trees and is expecting a big run from the Harry Redknapp co-owned Moviesta over his favoured trip.
“He’s in great form, and if you look at his best bits of form they are at five furlongs – he’s not been far away and I still maintain if we’d not had to switch at York in the Nunthorpe, he’d have nearly been second,” said the Hambleton trainer.
“Paul Mulrennan had to switch and half a length in a sprint like that is a lot. He went to make his run and had to come round a horse. I don’t think we’d have won – the winner Sole Power is a superstar – but I think we could have been second and on that you warrant going there with a great chance.
“He’s just been touched off in five-furlong races, the ground has been against him a couple of times and perhaps we shouldn’t have let him run, but you’re in those big Group Ones and you give it a whirl.”
David Griffiths is hoping the dry weather remains in Paris for Take Cover, who has flown the flag for his Bawtry stable with victories in York’s City Wall Stakes and the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood before finishing down the field in the Nunthorpe. “He’s in good form so, touch wood, it stays dries for us,” he said.
The horse to beat is Sole Power who added to his biggest race tally when landing the Nunthorpe after jockey Richard Hughes extricated the sprinter from an invidious position deep inside the final furlong.
However, a strong Yorkshire contingent also includes David O’Meara’s Move In Time – the mount of The Yorkshire Post’s columnist Daniel Tudhope – with Betfred Sprint Cup winner G Force being saved for Qipco Champions Day at Ascot.
Thirsk trainer David Barron saddles Pearl Secret while Kevin Ryan – victorious with Desert Lord in 2006 – runs Hamza and Hot Streak. The latter is reunited with Oisin Murphy who partnered Hot Streak to success at Haydock earlier this year, a success that saw him land a plum role with Qatar Racing. He will not be fazed by the big occasion.