Pace key for Sequence in Grand bid
Saturday 14 July 2012
By Ashley Wishaw
David Lanigan hopes for an even pace for his Investec Derby runner-up Main Sequence in tonight's Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp tonight.
Following four consecutive victories, the Niarchos family-owned three-year-old lost his unbeaten record at the hands of Aidan O'Brien's potential Triple Crown aspirant Camelot in the Epsom Classic.
French races are notoriously slow paced, often culminating in a sprint finish, and with no confirmed pacemaker the 12-furlong contest could prove a be a messy race like several other high-profile French events this season.
"He likes a nice, strong pace and to pass horses," the Lambourn trainer said. We wouldn't want it to turn into a sprint, but a nice even pace all round. It's his last chance to run against three-year-olds, so it would be nice if he could win, as it's going to be tougher for him against the older horses.
"We'll get this out of the way before we make any other plans, but we don't want to be too hard on him this year as he'll stay in training next year, all going well. He's strengthening all the time and I think next year is really going to be his year."
"He's in good order, but I would be a little bit concerned about the ground. I think he'll run unless it became extreme or something, so we'll see what happens."
Camelot's trainer Aidan O'Brien saddles a major contender in Imperial Monarch. The Galileo colt had no luck in running in the French Derby, flying home down the outside of the field to finish a never-nearer eighth.
"He came out of his last race OK and I'm looking forward to it," the trainer's son and jockey, Joseph, said.
"You know your own horse very well and obviously French races can be quite messy and it's hard to get a very accurate guide on the form, but you have to keep an eye on it. We'll see how he runs and hopefully he can run a big race.
"I don't see the course at Longchamp posing much of a problem. He's stepping up in trip and that's probably a question mark. The extra two furlongs, you'd imagine he'd stay on pedigree, but you never know until they go and do it.
"He's always felt like a very good horse and he's been given some time to come to himself. He won very nicely at Sandown (Classic Trial) and I think you can write off the race at Chantilly, so hopefully we can get off on the right foot this time."