1pt win Fontanelice @8/1, Longchamp, 15:40

A chance is taken on Criquette Head-Maarek’s Fontanelice at Longchamp this afternoon. Twice a Group Two winner in Italy, her last three appearances have come at the highest level in the French Classics and Muhaarar’s Prix Maurice De Gheest, so this seven furlong Listed contest represents a significant drop in class.

She’s not alone in that regard, with last season’s 1000 Guineas winner heroine Miss France making her belated seasonal reappearance. She’s hot in the market at 5/4, but after such a long break she might need this ahead of her Autumn target, the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

The selection’s stand-out piece of form this year came over course and distance in the French Guineas won by Ervedya. She stayed on strongly for fourth to reverse placings with Penorka, who had edged her out in a bunched finish at Group Three level over course and distance again on her previous start. Signs of improvement, then, with the winner that day, Mexican Gold, franking the form by finishing second to Ervedya in the same Guineas.

That her connections persisted with Group One entries suggests a lot of faith in her ability; however, her next two runs have come over ten and six furlongs, where she’s flopped and finished 10th in both. It’s easy to make excuses about the trips not being suitable at that high level – Muhaarar is one of the best sprinters seen in Europe in some time – and we’re simply chancing at 8/1 that the form of her French Guineas fourth puts her bang in the mix amongst this weaker field, as it’s over the same course and distance and in near-identical conditions.

Oddschecker Odds

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