Last year’s first and second, Sky Lantern and Integral, are among eight entries for the one mile Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes (3.30pm, Newmarket, Saturday).
The market is headed by the three-year-old filly Fintry (9/4), trained in France by Andre Fabre. The daughter of the hugely talented Group 1 winner Shamardal has won five of her six starts, including the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly in June.
She has yet to race at the highest level, but La Hoguette, second in the Prix de Sandringham, was only beaten a length when third in the Prix Jean Prat, against the colts, back at Chantilly the following month, so the form looks pretty solid.
Fintry has yet to win on going softer than good but, with the going on the Rowley Mile currently good, with a wet and windy day forecast for Saturday, she could well have underfoot conditions to suit. If she does, she has little to find with the Group 1 winners in the field and looks a worthy favourite.
Andre Fabre makes life difficult for punters by saddling two of those Group 1 winners, Esoterique and Miss France. Esoterique (6/1) only had to be pushed out to beat Miss France by a cosy three-quarters of a length in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville in August, with Integral a further 1¾ lengths away in third and, on that performance, looks clear second-best of the Fabre trio. She finished strongly when fourth, beaten 1½ lengths, in the Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on her only subsequent start and, while a drop of rain wouldn’t do her chances any harm, she should not be underestimated.
A similar comment applied to 1,000 Guineas winner Miss France (6/1). Her run in the Prix de Diane, over 1 mile 2½ furlongs, at Chantilly in June is best forgotten after she suffered major interference in the closing stages and, although she’s been off the course since early August, she is clearly very smart and has nothing to find on official ratings.
Integral (10/3) started odds-on for the Prix Rothschild, having previously won the Duke of Cambridgeshire Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Falmouth Stakes on the July Course at Newmarket. That form entitles her to beat Sky Lantern (8/1), who finished well behind her on both occasions. Integral has finished behind Esoterique twice already this season, so has her work cut out to win after an absence of two months.
Kiyoshi (12/1), Etaab (25/1) and J Wonder (28/1) all look fully exposed as lacking the class to be seriously considered for win purposes. So Andre Fabre appears to have a very strong hand with his trio. In fact, it would come as no great surprise if his runners were to fill the first three places. Our betting tips advice is to back his first string FINTRY to win at best available current odds of 9/4 with Paddy Power or Sky Bet.