Western Hymn returns to France
Last Updated: 14/08/14 4:15pm
John Gosden's Western Hymn returns to France for the Prix Guillaume D'Ornano on Friday after an ultra-impressive display on his last venture.
The three-year-old High Chaparral colt has only met with defeat once in his life, in the Investec Derby where he finished sixth after meeting trouble in running and Gosden also felt he possibly failed to see out a mile and a half.
After a short break he was sent to Maisons-Laffitte for the Prix Eugene Adam when he appeared to relish the soft ground, running out an easy three-length winner from Army Bulletin, who faces him again, and Rod Millman's Master Carpenter.
Kept against his own age group again and still in Group Two company without a penalty, Western Hymn travels with strong claims.
His main opposition is likely to come from Jean-Claude Rouget's Prince Gibraltar, third in the French Derby and narrowly beaten in the Grand Prix de Paris last time out. He drops back in trip for this assignment.
Gailo Chop, who ran in the Belmont Derby last time out, Boookrunner and Nolohay are also among a field of eight.
There is also British interest in the other Group race on the card, the Prix de Lieurey for three-year-old fillies.
Ed Dunlop's Amazing Maria looked booked for a big year in her Classic season when winning twice at Goodwood last summer, including the Group Three Prestige Stakes.
However, numerous scenarios have limited her to just one run in the Investec Oaks when she finished tailed off.
She was declared to run in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, but Dunlop deemed the ground was too firm.
"This looks a very competitive race with some highly rated French horses entered," said Dunlop on www.edunlop.com.
"Gerald Mosse is booked on Amazing Maria and has won on her before. I'm hoping she likes the ground and I also hope to see the true filly that we saw last year."
Charlie Hills' Kiyoshi hinted at a return to the form which saw her win at Royal Ascot last year when second at Ascot to Euro Charline last time.
Ralph Beckett's Evita Peron is another to make the journey having won a Newmarket Listed race in straightforward fashion when last seen.