High-class sprinters Finsbury Square and Rosa Imperial headline seven runners in the €40,000 Prix Anabaa (1.10pm local time) over six and a half furlongs on Polytrack at Chantilly, France, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 6.
The winner of this Fast-Track Qualifier is guaranteed a free start in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships over six furlongs on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.
Finsbury Square (Fabrice Chappet/Christophe Soumillon) captured the Prix Anabaa last year prior to a string of creditable efforts, including when second in the G2 Prix du Gros-Chene (5f) at Chantilly and fifth in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6f) at Royal Ascot, both on turf. The six-year-old son of Siyouni has not raced since finishing seventh of behind Battaash in the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye (5f) on turf at Chantilly in October.
Trainer Fabrice Chappet, based at Lamorlaye next to Chantilly, said today: “We have not had the best of weather, but it is the same story for everybody.
“Finsbury Square is in good shape and, even if tomorrow is slightly further than his favourite distance and run round a turn, he won last year and I expect him to run a good race.
“We are getting him ready for Dubai at the end of the month, rather than Lingfield.”
Godolphin mare Rosa Imperial (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) has been successful on three of her four starts, with her biggest success coming in the G3 Prix de Ris-Orangis (6f) at Maisons-Laffitte in June. The lightly-raced five-year-old daughter of Pivotal, who has yet to race on an All-Weather surface, came home ninth of 13 on her latest outing in the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (6.5f) at Deauville in August.
Four-year-old Siyouni colt City Light (Stephane Wattel/Theo Bachelot) was G3-placed (5.5f) in May and ended 2017 with a good second to British raider and subsequent G3 Betway Winter Derby runner-up Mr Owen in the Listed Prix Luthier at Deauville over an extended seven furlongs in December, his first All-Weather contest.
Imperial Tango (Giuseppe Botti/Cristian Demuro) took third in a G3 prize (6f) in Italy in October, while All-Weather specialist Lucky Team (Joel Boisnard/Hugo Jourinac) has finished fourth in Listed contests at Deauville (7.5f) and Cagnes-sur-Mer (1m) on his last two starts.
The runners are completed by course and distance scorer Cavaprun (Julien Phelippon/Stephane Pasquier), winner of his last two races, and Jack Flash (Gina Rarick/Mickael Forest).