French Oaks Looks At The Mercy Of Shamkala
12 Horses will compete for tomorrow afternoon’s Prix de Diane (French Oaks) at Chantilly including Qipco 1000 Guineas winner Miss France who also holds an entry in next Friday’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot although the Andre Fabre-trained filly will only be switched to that contest should ground conditions change in Picardy, of which her handler said: ” The ground will be perfect and although there are some light showers forecast it won’t change. Unless there is unforseen torrential rain she will run.”
Despite having already succeeded in winning one Classic the Newmaket victor is only third-best in the betting to repeat the feat behind the Aga Khan-owned Shamkala and Avenir Certain, a length and a quarter too good for Veda and company in Longchamp’s Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches last month. Both fillies are yet to taste defeat but it is the former who heads the market at a best price 13-8 with bet365 and the daughter of Pivotal is expected to provide her trainer Alaine De Royer-Dupre with win number 7 in the race, the latest being that of Sarafina in 2010.
Unbeaten in three races to date the impeccably-bred filly created a big impression when winning the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre at Saint-Cloud on her most recent start and while this is major step up in class it will be a huge disappointment if the mount of Christophe Soumillon is not up to the task. Although both Miss France and Avenir Certain have Classic-winning form in the book neither is guaranteed to be suited by the extended 1m 2f trip whereas Shamkala has already won over the distance. If the winner is to come from outside of the ‘ big three ‘ it is likely to be Bawina (8-1 bet365) who got no sort of run when fourth in the French 1000 Guineas on her most recent start.