mid-division, not clear run over 2f out, repeatedly hampered over 1f out until switched left and got gap entering final furlong, ran on well, led towards finish and won going away
It was soft ground when Sands Of Mali made all to win last year’s renewal beating several of these in the process including previous winners The Tin Man and Librisa Breeze as well as Donjuan Triumphant, Brando, Speak In Colours and Dream Of Dreams. Cape Byron won a Group 3 over track and trip earlier in the month but the progressive Irish raider and Listed winner Make A Challenge makes more appeal on today’s heavy going. Mabs Cross struggled in France last time but One Master repeated last year’s success in the Prix de la Foret over 7f at Longchamp having earlier fallen victim to Advertise in a Group 1 at Deauville. The latter also beat HELLO YOUMZAIN in the Commonwealth Cup over course and distance in June but Kevin Ryan’s charge is fancied to reverse running on this surface having subsequently landed the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock when beating a few of these including The Tin Man and So Perfect.
Brando 7-1 (9-3) Held up towards rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on one pace inside final furlong, lost 3rd close home, 4th of 11, 2 1/2l behind Hello Youmzain (9-1) at Haydock 6f Grp 1 (1) sft in Sep.
Cape Byron 13-8fav (9-2) Tracked leaders and always going well, 2nd on bit over 2f out, led over 1f out, quickened clear, easily, won at Ascot 6f Grp 3 stks (1) sft in Oct beating Donjuan Triumphant (9-2) by 2l, 10 ran.
Donjuan Triumphant (IRE) 9-2 (9-2) Tried to anticipate start hit gate and started slowly, behind, headway 2f out, chased leaders and flashed tail under pressure over 1f out ran on inside final furlong, went 2nd final strides, no chance with winner, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Cape Byron (9-2) at Ascot 6f Grp 3 stks (1) sft in Oct.
Dream Of Dreams (IRE) 9-2cfav (9-3) Awkwardly away in rear, never near leaders, 8th of 11, 4 3/4l behind Hello Youmzain (9-1) at Haydock 6f Grp 1 (1) sft in Sep.
Keystroke 12-1 (9-5) Held up and behind, headway when not clear run and switched right over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong no chance with winner, lost 2nd final strides, 3rd of 10, 2 1/4l behind Cape Byron (9-2) at Ascot 6f Grp 3 stks (1) sft in Oct.
Librisa Breeze 16-1 (9-6) Held up in last pair, good headway far side of group tracking leaders over 2f out, went 2nd inside final 2f, stayed on towards finish, always held, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Glorious Journey (9-6) at Newbury 7f Grp 2 stks (1) sft in Aug.
Make A Challenge (IRE) 9-4jfav (9-6) Tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to press leader 1 1/2f out, ridden to lead 1f out, quickened clear inside final furlong, drifted right close home, won at Curragh 6f lst stks (1) Soft - Heavy in Oct beating Downforce (9-6) by 4 1/2l, 8 ran.
Sands Of Mali (FR) 16-1 (9-3) Never nearer than mid-division far side of group, weakened over 2f out, 16th of 17, 17l behind Blue Point (9-3) at Ascot 6f Grp 1 stks (1) gf in Jun.
Speak In Colours (9-2) 3rd of 12, 4l behind One Master (8-12) at ParisLongchamp 7f Grp 1 sft in Oct.
The Tin Man 7-1 (9-3) Held up, ridden and headway entering final furlong, stayed on to press winner towards finish, 2nd of 11, 1/2l behind Hello Youmzain (9-1) at Haydock 6f Grp 1 (1) sft in Sep.
Advertise (8-12) won at Deauville 6f Grp 1 stks gd in Aug beating Brando (9-3) by nk, 15 ran.
Hello Youmzain (FR) 9-2cfav (9-1) Made all, ridden over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, won at Haydock 6f Grp 1 (1) sft in Sep beating The Tin Man (9-3) by 1/2l, 11 ran.
Khaadem (IRE) 9-2cfav (9-1) Held up in touch, ridden and unable to quicken 2f out, weakened entering final furlong, last of 11, 10l behind Hello Youmzain (9-1) at Haydock 6f Grp 1 (1) sft in Sep.
Mabs Cross (9-7) 5th of 16, 4 1/4l behind Glass Slippers (9-7) at ParisLongchamp 5f Grp 1 sft in Oct.
One Master (8-12) won at ParisLongchamp 7f Grp 1 sft in Oct beating City Light (9-2) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Forever In Dreams (IRE) (8-10) 7th of 12, 6 1/4l behind One Master (8-12) at ParisLongchamp 7f Grp 1 sft in Oct.
So Perfect (USA) (9-7) 2nd of 16, 3l behind Glass Slippers (9-7) at ParisLongchamp 5f Grp 1 sft in Oct.