Ultra: has been off the track since landing last year’s Jean-Luc Lagardere
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Scott Burton 7:47AM 17 JUL 2016
Preview: France, Sunday 2.5opm BST
Maisons-Laffitte: Prix Eugene Adam (Group 2) 1m2f, 3yo
LAST year’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Ultra makes his belated reappearance in this Group 2, which reverts to the straight mile and a quarter this year owing to flood damage on the round course.
Godolphin’s unbeaten son of Manduro suffered a splint problem in April that prevented him taking up the challenge of either the Prix du Jockey Club or Investec Derby.
The Lagardere form has not been fully endorsed in Ultra’s absence, with the spectacular exception of Guineas and St James’s Palace winner Galileo Gold, who was just over a length away in third at Longchamp.
“Ultra has been working well at home in preparation,” said Andre Fabre, who trains four of the ten runners.
“He has been away from the track for a long time since winning the Lagardere and will definitely take plenty of improvement from the race.”
Jockey Club form is represented by Golden Bridge, who surprised almost everyone bar his trainer Charles Gourdain when finishing sixth at Chantilly, as well as ninth-placed Raseed.
Among the less-exposed candidates, Al Shaqab’s Heshem looked a colt of some promise with two easy wins on the all-weather in April.
Also on Sunday
Prix Messidor (Group 3) 1m, 3yo+ 3.50pm BST
On the same card, Prix Ganay winner Dariyan drops down in trip for the Prix Messidor over a mile, in which he will attempt to give weight all round to four smart rivals.
Dariyan began the year chasing Postponed around Meydan over a mile and a half, but trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre believes a mile and a quarter is the son of Shamardal’s best trip and has an eye on Group 1 targets at that intermediate distance.
“The Arlington Million is a possibility, while he is also entered at York [in the Juddmonte International],” he said.