With the ground listed as very soft Friday, and likely to turn heavy in the next couple of days, only six juveniles were declared for Sunday’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) at ParisLongchamp. The about 7-furlong test is a scoring race on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby, offering the familiar 10-4-2-1 points structure, but its immediate impact is as a “Win and You’re In” for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
Aidan O’Brien relies on a single entrant, St Mark’s Basilica, who comes off a third in the Vincent O’Brien National (G1). The French-bred handled soft going to break his maiden at the Curragh two back, and his sire, Siyouni, captured this race in 2009. St Mark’s Basilica is also a half-brother to a past O’Brien classic winner in Magna Grecia, hero of the 2018 Vertem Futurity Trophy (G1) and the 2000 Guineas (G1) in 2019.
Fellow Irish shipper Laws of Indices has scored both of his wins on yielding going, most significantly when springing a 66-1 upset of the July 18 Railway (G2). The Ken Condon trainee was seventh in the National last out on better ground, but these conditions help.
Two British runners are venturing across the Channel. Nando Parrado, a 150-1 shocker in the Coventry (G2) at Royal Ascot, backed up that performance by finishing second to Wesley Ward’s Campanelle in the Aug. 23 Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville. That was soft ground, so the Clive Cox pupil is eligible to adapt here too. The Mick Channon-trained Cairn Gorm launched a successful raid on Deauville for the Aug. 2 Prix de Cabourg (G3) on a good course, but was only eighth in the Morny and sixth in the Mill Reef (G2) at Newbury last out.
French contenders Sealiway and Libertine both broke their maidens on soft. Sealiway was runner-up in the course-and-distance prep, the Sept. 6 Prix la Rochette (G3), after dominating a listed stakes at Vichy. The filly Libertine, who won her first two at Vichy, was fourth in the Sept. 10 Prix d’Aumale (G3) over a mile here. Trainer Fabrice Vermeulen opts to turn back in trip with the daughter of Dark Angel.