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REAL HORSES IN REAL RACES AS FRANCE IS THE VICTOR: At last we have runners in real races as the French-racing restart on Monday week gets its entries, including Classic hope Victor Ludorum. But that won’t stop Daqman putting the English 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas to his stats-and-facts test tomorrow and Sunday. That’s the day they should be run but England and Ireland are still in lockdown without official plans.

TOMORROW: WHAT THE ENGLISH 2,000 GUINEAS MIGHT LOOK LIKE


LUDORUM IN THE FRENCH RELAUNCH

Triple handed. Victor Ludorum, Godolphin’s third Classic hope after Pinatubo and Earthlight, will run in the Prix Fontainebleau trial on day one of French racing’s restart.

The Fontainebleau is one of four Group-1 crackers which seem sure to provide fireworks on the May 11th opening card.

Victor Ludorum won the big Longchamp two-year-old stepping-stone, the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, on Arc day in the autumn.

Trainer Andre Fabre has declared Victor Ludorum for a Guineas-Derby double bid on June 1 and July 5 but, though he expresses reservations about Earthlight’s stamina, the Middle Park winner is in an acy-deucy battle with Victor Ludorum for market leader in the first French Classic.

Though only fifth in the Lagardere, Helter Skelter (Jean-Claude Rouget) will be among Victor’s opponents in the Fontainebleau.

One-run-one-win stablemate Simeen goes for the fillies’ trial, the Prix De La Grotte, while Rouget’s French Derby winner of 2019, Sotsass, is scheduled for the Prix d’Harcourt.


ENGLAND PLAN PROMISED NEXT WEEK

England getting closer. After complaints from English trainers, that there is no restart plan like the French and German models, the resumption task force last night promised ‘a new provisional programme’ will be published next week.

Trainers warned that they must be able to focus their horses for training purposes: whether it is all going to be on AW for the first couple of weeks, for instance, as has been mooted.

But the word last night was of a programme ‘as close as possible’ to what is normal from mid-May through June, staging roughly the same number of races ‘by type, class and distance.’

Germany plans to start on the sand at Dortmund (on Monday), then more Fibresand at Hanover, but with Mannheim and Cologne on turf.

France lines up Longchamp for a grand turf-season opening on Monday week.

Ireland is due to review its lockdown measures on Tuesday next week. Current Classic rescheduling:

🗓️ June 1: French 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas
🗓️ June 2: German 2,000 Guineas
🗓️ June 9: German 1,000 Guineas
🗓️ July 5: French Derby and Oaks
🗓️ July 5: German Derby
🗓️ July 12: German Oaks


GUINEAS BELONGED TO DONNACHA

This time last year. Daqman had no sooner supernapped the winner of the BETDAQ Champion Hurdle at Punchestown than he landed 9-1 Elector on Guineas day at Newmarket.

Aidan O’Brien celebrated a hat-trick in the 2,000 with Magna Grecia, following on Saxon Warrior and Churchill. Like Saxon Warrior, Magna Grecia was ridden by Donnacha O’Brien.

Shine So Bright made the running down the stands’ side, which had a distinct advantage as Magna Grecia took over a furlong out and forged clear to win by two-and-a-half lengths.

Hermosa was Aidan O’Brien’s third winner in four years of the 1,000 Guineas. Whereas Magna Grecia never won another race, Hermosa went on to complete the Guineas double on the Curragh.

She was 14-1 in the Newmarket 1,000 but took the lead from the start, and kept on well in the final quarter mile.

It would be ‘same again’ at The Curragh, Hermosa making all the running and this time finishing four lengths clear of her field.


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