Poetic Flare goes for the second leg of what could be a remarkable Guineas treble at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
The three-year-old emulated his sire Dawn Approach in winning the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket for trainer Jim Bolger and he turns out just a fortnight later for the French equivalent – the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
Bolger is hoping his exciting colt can double his Classic tally before potentially bidding for a hat-trick in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas next weekend.
“He’s come of Newmarket well,” said the Coolcullen handler.
“I’m hoping to do them all (all three Guineas), all going well.
“The draw (stall four) is what it is and I’ve no worries about the ground.”
Bolger almost completed a similar treble with Finsceal Beo in 2006. The top-class filly won at Newmarket before being beaten a head in Paris, but bounced back to winning ways at the Curragh.
Her narrow defeat in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches is as close as the veteran trainer has come to winning a French Classic – a record he is keen to set straight this weekend.
He added: “She (Finsceal Beo) was second in the Pouliches and I haven’t had many runners (in the French Classics) – she’s the only one, I think.”
Irish hopes are also carried by St Mark’s Basilica, who bids to provide Aidan O’Brien with a fifth victory in the race.
The son of Siyouni is making his first appearance since winning the Dewhurst at Newmarket in October.
O’Brien said: “It was always the plan for him to run in the two-year-old race on Arc day (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere), but he didn’t (because of a feed issue) and that is why he ended up going to Newmarket.
“After that it was always the plan then that he would go to France for this race.
“I think he’s a miler, but when Frankie (Dettori) rode him in the Dewhurst he said then he’d get further than the Dewhurst trip, so you’d think he might get a bit further at three.”
The sole British challenger is Archie Watson’s Mehmento.
Following two wide-margin wins on the all-weather Southwell, the Hambleton Racing-owned colt ran an excellent race in defeat on his turf debut when touched off by subsequent 2000 Guineas fifth Chindit in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
Cosmo Charlton, Hambleton Racing’s head racing manager, said: “He’s in really good form and Archie is very happy with him, so fingers crossed he runs well.
“It was only his third start at Newbury so hopefully there’s more improvement to come. It’s a big step up again. You’ve got the 2000 Guineas winner in there and Aidan O’Brien’s Dewhurst winner, so those two are going to be hard to beat.
“If we can be in the mix to make the frame we’ll be absolutely delighted.”
The home team is led by Frederic Rossi’s Sealiway, who was a runaway winner of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and is expected to improve from his comeback second in the Prix de Fontainebleau four weeks ago.
“Sealiway is getting stronger. His last work was very satisfactory. The rain won’t bother him. I hope the ground will be on the soft side,” said Rossi.
“I don’t think that there is one particular standout horse. He is here to run well, and this with the help of Christophe Soumillon.”
Andre Fabre is seeking a third consecutive Poulains, after Persian King and Victor Ludorum.
He relies on Parchemin, who was unbeaten in two juvenile starts but only fifth on his reappearance in the Fontainebleau.
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin told www.godolphin.com: “We hoped that Parchemin would have run slightly better in the Prix de Fontainebleau but he ran well enough, all things considered. The ground was possibly a bit quick that day but the first two home look very strong contenders here again.
“He is a really lovely horse with a great temperament and a real standout physically. We have seen horses turn around the form between the trial and the Classic itself, and we are optimistic that Parchemin can improve on his seasonal return.”