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Prix Robert Papin: Prince can become king in France
John Ingles previews Sunday’s Group 2 two-year-old contest in France in which there’s a good chance of British success.
Two-year-old racing in France doesn’t really get going in earnest until Deauville next month but the Prix Robert Papin over five and a half furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte is the most important contest of its type so far this year across the Channel. British-trained youngsters have won three of the last four runnings, and the two colts in Sunday’s field of six will be bidding to continue that run of success for British stables.
Clive Cox won this in 2012 with Reckless Abandon who had previously won the Norfolk Stakes but his representative this time, Tis Marvellous (in the same colours as those which Reckless Abandon carried at the start of his career), has yet to be tried in pattern company. However, the manner in which he won his maiden at Windsor on his second outing earlier this month – making all and drawing clear to win impressively by eight lengths – suggests he’s well worth his place in a race of this type.
He’ll have to improve a fair bit more, though, as it’s the latest Norfolk winner Prince of Lir who sets the standard in this field. Prince of Lir’s trainer Robert Cowell holds him in sufficient regard to have given him a Nunthorpe entry and he’s at single-figure odds in some ante-post lists for a potential clash with older sprinters at York. Six furlongs will suit Prince of Lir in time, however, so this extra half-furlong should be very much in his favour. He beat The Last Lion at Ascot who had also chased him home on his debut at Beverley, and the runner-up has since gone on to win a listed race at Sandown.
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