Longchamp Prix de L’Opera tips – Preview of Sunday’s Group One fillies’ feature
One of a number of Group One races to head to post this Sunday during the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp, the Prix de L’Opera takes place immediately after the day’s showpiece race, the Arc. We’ve picked out some of the more likely contenders for the ten furlongs support act as we give our Prix de L’Opera tips.
Going to post at 3.50pm and immediately following a potential history-making success by Enable in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, the Group One Prix de L’Opera unfolds over ten furlongs of the famous Longchamp racetrack.
Boasting a first prize just short of £150,000, a potential field of 16 runners will take to the turf in what is likely to be gruelling conditions and we’ve looked over the list of entries to highlight some of the more likely candidates to scoop the Group One prize while giving our Prix de L’Opera tips for Sunday’s supporting Group One contest at Longchamp which is one of several top-class supporting races to the day’s main event.
PRIX DE L’OPERA TIPS – SUNDAY BIG RACE PREVIEW AT LONGCHAMP
Already a dual-Group One winner having struck successes at Chantilly in the Prix de Diane and following up in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the Deep Impact filly saw her hat-trick run ended by the rapidly improving Champers Elysees in the Matron Stakes during Irish Champions Weekend.
Donnacha O’Brien’s charge had looked a strong stayer previously so there’s every possibility that the drop to one mile last time might just have contributed to her defeat and she can quickly bounce back over this longer trip; while she won on soft ground at the Curragh last October so should have little trouble with these conditions.
She rates a big player and ought to go well back under more suitable conditions.
Twice a winner last term which included a Group Two at the Curragh, Jessica Harrington’s charge brought up her hat-trick when routing opposition on her return in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot to scoop a first Group One victory.
The Sea The Moon filly was only narrowly beaten by reopposing Fancy Blue at Chantilly in July and coped well with heavy conditions when last seen at Deauville where she got to within a length of the classy Palace Pier in the Prix Jacques Le Marois back over one mile.
Like her compatriot Fancy Blue she should have little to fear from conditions and every chance she can go well back at this longer distance.
Improved this term following a defeat in Listed company at Newmarket last campaign to see off Fancy Blue in the Irish 1000 Guineas, but that rival equalled the scores when beating Aidan O’Brien’s charge at Chantilly with the Galileo filly finishing third behind her old rival and Alpine Star.
Third following a break when runner-up to Champers Elysees in the Matron Stakes – Fancy Blue finished third – she’s closely matched with that rival on their recent encounters but there remains a doubt that she’s as effective over this ten furlongs as at one mile.
A soft ground winner as a juvenile and placed in heavy conditions when runner-up at Newmarket last term, she’s another for whom conditions will hold no fears but she might need to find a shade more back at this distance if she is to take this prize.
Unbeaten in five starts for Jean-Claude Rouget which includes a five lengths’ victory over Magic Attitude in the Prix Saint Alary at Chantilly and she won readily at Deauville latest in the Prix de la Nonette by a half-length despite not appearing altogether comfortable on the soft ground.
Conditions then are a slight worry for the Teofilo filly who might prefer a less taxing surface than she’ll experience on Sunday, but she’s a classy individual who can make her presence felt if the conditions don’t catch her out.
The best of the home guard, she has to be respected given her unbeaten record and she looks sure to go close assuming her ability to overcome the testing ground.
Another string in a strong Irish bow, Dermot Weld’s Shamardal filly has bounced back from her Epsom Oaks flop behind Anapurna last May to win four of her five subsequent starts including both outings this term.
Her latest success came when beating Raabihah over this course and distance to take the Prix Vermeille by an easy three lengths and there could be more still to come from her over this trip where she is 3-4 in starts at the distance.
She has form in soft ground, but her best performances have come on less testing surfaces and she might not prove as good on what promises to be a much more extreme surface on Sunday although she’s certainly worthy of respect back in trip where her stamina could prove an asst.
Smart performer who finished fifth in last season’s Prix de L’Opera behind Villa Marina in similar conditions to those she’ll experience come Sunday and John Gosden’s charge has returned this term in good heart.
A reappearance win at Newmarket in the Dahlia Stakes was followed up by a very good runner-up effort behind Circus Maximus in the Queen Anne Stakes. The Sea The Stars filly then got to within a half-length of Nazeef when finishing third in the Falmouth Stakes and the Godolphin runner could make her presence felt with trip and ground no issue.
This likely demands more from her however but she’s entitled to give a good account nonetheless.
Of the others, Ambition from the Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte yard isn’t without hope and the more testing the ground the better for the Dubawi filly who relishes a testing surface with all three of her wins coming on soft ground or worse.
A Group Two winner at Lyon Parilly earlier in the campaign when beating Grand Glory in the Prix Corrida, she found only Audarya too strong by a neck in the recent Prix Jean Romanet with the front pair pulling clear and she could run well at a big price.
Ability to handle the very deep ground will prove crucial so there has to be a concern on that front over previously-unbeaten Tawkeel who didn’t appear entirely at ease in the mud last time.
The ground possibly also cost Alpine Blue latest but she bumped into the classy Palace Pier on that occasion and might ideally prefer a mile. So FANCY BLUE is taken to get back on the scoresheet having beaten that rival in the Prix de Diane and Donnacha O’Brien’s charge will likely prove tough to beat back at this longer trip having been beaten over one mile last time in the Matron Stakes.
Her two defeat behind Peaceful this term have both come at the shorter trip, but she is 2-2 over ten furlongs and the Deep Impact filly can improve again. She won a soft ground Listed contest as a juvenile so she should handle this deep ground and ever chance back at this distance she can regain the winning thread.
Meanwhile, recent Prix Corrida winner Ambition revels in the conditions and won’t be far away if finding another jolt of improvement. The Dubawi filly can run a big race at each-way prices.