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Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud, Sunday

With the Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud coming up at the Paris track this Sunday here is Martin Pennington’s runner-by-runner guide to the big event:

Flintshire – Grand Prix De Paris winner last season as a three year old though hasn’t won since including when a beaten fourth as favourite for the Prix Niel prior to a heavy defeat in the Arc.  Andre Fabre’s charge made a solid return to action when runner-up in the Group 1 Coronation Cup last month and he looks set to go well on his first start at this track.


Noble Mission – Winner of his last three outings including at Group 1 level at The Curragh over ten furlongs last time out.  Would appear to be held by Flintshire on a line through Cirrus Des Aigles but his two Group 3 wins this season have been boosted by the Royal Ascot win of runner-up Telescope last week.


Melagros – Finished fourth behind Novellist in this particular race in 2013 but absent for nine months prior to finishing fourth in a conditions race at Compiegne in March.  The trip probably stretched his stamina on that occasion and he was seen to better effect when runner-up in the Group 3 Prix d’Hedouville at Longchamp in May, though even on that running he’d need to step up to take this.


Spiritjim – Winner of his last four outings since finishing sixth in the Prix Niel of 2013.  Winner of the Grand Prix de Chantilly on good ground at the start of this month for Pascal Bary and had beaten today’s rival Meleagros and five others at Longchamp but no obvious reason why he should reverse Niel running with Flintshire.


Empoli – Useful horse in Germany last season finishing runner-up in a Group 1 event won by Seismos at Munich in August.  He stepped up on that when running in Dubai earlier in the year finishing fourth in the Sheema Classic on World Cup night prior to finishing fourth in the Coronation Cup.  An interesting contender though more is needed here than at Epsom last time out.


Narniyn – Won each of her last four outings including over this course in the Group 3 Prix De Flore on her final outing of 2013.  This daughter of Dubawi made a winning return to action over ten furlongs at Longchamp earlier this month where her victims included last seasons useful three year old Ocovango and she rates the most interesting of today’s runners.


Siljan’s Saga – Took the Group 2 Prix Corrida here at the end of May for her fifth victory in fourteen starts.  The daughter of Sagamix is a course and distance winner having taken a conditions event here as a three year old and she’s fairly versatile in terms of trip though needs to improve on her first start at this level.




Flintshire is taken to register his first Group 1 success of 2014 following a promising outing at Epsom last time out.  He can get the better of Noble Mission and Narniyn with the former looking like a reformed character in recent starts while the Aga Khan’s mare appears to be improving and saw off a couple of useful yardsticks on her latest outing.


Martin Pennington 27/06/14

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