The Arc support races: Masar leads double raid on Lagardere for Charlie Appleby

Sun 1 Oct 2017

By staff

Charlie Appleby will field two live contenders for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in Masar and Mythical Magic at Chantilly on Sunday.

The Group One often throws up a Classic contender and Appleby is struggling to split the pair. Masar won the Solario Stakes last time out, while Mythical Magic met with a first defeat but only narrowly in the Champagne Stakes

"Masar and Mythical Magic are in great nick. I know 100 per cent that Mythical Magic will handle the ground and I'm very confident Masar will," said Appleby.

"It's a Group One and I like to have a strong hand in it. We were always heading towards the Lagardere with Masar, but we made the entry for the Royal Lodge as you never know what is around the corner.

"I think a nice flat track will suit him and we will keep it simple with him. I see Masar getting further in time and I think this is about the maximum trip that Mythical Magic will get. He has got the pace to jump and travel well."

The home team is headed by Olmedo, who narrowly failed in Group Three company last time out, while Aidan O'Brien pitches the filly Happily in against the boys.

full)Longines Irish Champions Weekend - Day Two - Curragh Racecourse

_Happily and Magical both run in France on Sunday _

In the fillies' equivalent, the Prix Marcel Boussac, Appleby runs Wild Illusion, third behind Soustraction and Efaadah, whom she meets again, in a Group Three at the course last time out.

However, the favourite is Freddy Head's Polydream, who beat the May Hill winner Laurens easily when she was last seen.

"I thought the Cheveley Park might be a bit quick for her so we've gone for the Boussac. I think she'll get a mile, but it's not written on the wall," said Head. "It's a bit early to be thinking about next year, the French Guineas is back at Longchamp next year.

"She's in very good form and I think she's a very talented filly."

Soustraction runs in the same Wertheimer Brothers colours and is trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias.

"I was disappointed when she was beaten first time, but we turned the form around with the winner that day in a Group Three next time," he said. "She is my best two-year-old and it will take a good one to beat her. She has improved, she is from the same family as (Arc winner) Solemia."

Aidan O'Brien runs only Magical from a strong team of entries.

There is a numerically strong British and Irish contingent in the Prix de l'Opera but one of the leading fancies is Pascal Bary's Senga, the French Oaks winner from earlier in the season.

Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family, said: "Pascal Bary is very happy with her. She's a Prix Diane winner returning to Chantilly where she runs particularly well, and she should be very competitive.

"It was a nice run back in the Prix de la Nonette (third) and she's come on for that."

Senga was behind Appleby's Sobetsu there but the trainer relies on Wuheida this time, with James Doyle riding.

"She ran a nice race in the Matron (fourth), we are stepping back up in trip to a mile and a quarter," said Doyle

"She travelled into the Matron quite well, but she just lacked that little kick. The only blip on her record was when she went to Germany as her run in the Falmouth was good. That was a mile-three. She travelled like the best throughout and that extra furlong just found her out."

Dermot Weld's Shamreeen, O'Brien's Hydrangea and Rhododendron and Sir Michael Stoute's Breeders' Cup winner Queen's Trust are others in an open field.

Martyn Meade's Aclaim is favourite to land a first Group One in the Prix de la Foret.

"This is definitely his trip at the highest level. He's won over a mile and over six furlongs but in Group Ones, seven furlongs is him," said Meade.

"The soft ground isn't a worry and I'm fairly confident of turning the tables on Brando over the extra half-furlong."

Kevin Ryan's Brando beat Aclaim in the Prix Maurice de Gheest but disappointed in the Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Other British-trained runners are Toscanini, So Beloved and Realtra.

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