THOUGH not quite the same as Aidan O’Brien’s domination in this year’s Derby with seven of the 13 runners, Jean-Claude Rouget looks to have a firm grip on Sunday’s Prix de Diane (3.05pm), known as the French Oaks, at Chantilly.
He saddles four fillies in the race, headed by COMMES who was last seen flying home late to just be denied by a nose in the French 1,000 Guineas.
That’s the strongest piece of form held by any of Rouget’s runners and I expect her to lead home his quartet, if not the whole field at odds of 5/1.
Siyarafina, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, has been marked up as the 6/4 favourite and is the obvious danger.
The unbeaten daughter of Pivotal didn’t run as a two-year-old but has looked very impressive on her three starts this season.
She won comfortably on debut at Saint-Cloud over a mile, before winning the Prix du Louvre over the same distance on her next start, and then followed that up by landing the Group One Prix Saint Alary over 1m2f on her most recent appearance.
The question is, are you prepared to get involved at 6/4?
Though she soundly beat Commes over a mile on that second start in the Prix du Louvre, things may play out a little differently over an extra two furlongs.
Commes is having her first crack over the distance and, given there’s plenty of stamina in her pedigree, I’m prepared to take a chance on her at the prices.
Commes e/w 3.05pm Chantilly