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Dancing mixing it with the stars on Sunday

Dancing mixing it with the stars on Sunday
Dancing mixing it with the stars on Sunday

Roger Teal’s Dancing Gemini is bidding for French Classic success as he takes his chance in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp on Sunday.

The Camelot colt acquitted himself well as a two-year-old, winning a Newbury maiden and the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster.

On his final run last year, he was fifth in the Group One Futurity Trophy back at Doncaster, though the heavy ground there was not considered ideal and he will encounter a better surface in France.

The bay is drawn in stall four, a competitive berth and one Teal is hoping will bode well after connections chose to head across the Channel with the horse instead of the Rowley Mile.

“He’s great, he’s done very well over the winter and we’ve been incredibly pleased with him,” said Teal.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to has told me that you need a low draw at Longchamp and I was dreading it, I thought we were guaranteed to get 13!

“For once we were lucky and actually got a decent draw so I’m happy with that.”

Of the decision not to head to Newmarket, Teal added: “The owner was pretty keen to go to France. I agree you shouldn’t be afraid of one horse, but I think it was probably the sensible thing to do.

“The decision is made so we’ll go over and hope he runs well.”

Aidan O’Brien has a high-profile unbeaten contender in Henry Longfellow, a Dubawi colt who won three successive Curragh contests last year – including the Group Two Futurity Stakes and the Group One National Stakes.

Henry Longfellow winning the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh
Henry Longfellow winning the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh (Damien Eagers/PA)

He sidestepped the English Guineas to allow City Of Troy to make his ultimately unsuccessful bid, but now has his own chance to bring a Classic title back to his Ballydoyle yard.

“He’s in good form and he’s ready to start back,” said O’Brien.

“Obviously he had some very good form to his name last season, winning a Group Two and a Group One, and we’re hoping he’ll run another good race again.

“He’s done everything right this year and is ready to get going.”

O’Brien also runs the striking Diego Velazquez, winner of the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes last term.

Supercooled is trained by Andre Fabre for the Niarchos family and has run twice already this season, finishing second in the Prix Comrade and then winning the Prix Machado over course and distance.

Both runs were on heavy ground, but his two-length maiden win the season prior was on good to soft and connections are expecting him to appreciate better conditions.

“He’s been an exciting horse from the day he broke his maiden,” said Alan Cooper, racing manager for the owners.

“He had a bit of a setback later on in the season last year, but he’s done very well in conditions that are slower than ideal for him.

“On Sunday it is meant to be good ground and hopefully he will give a very good account of himself in his first black-type race.

“He takes a big step up, but Mr Fabre is there every day with him and likes him and we’ll see how he stacks up with those with proven Group form in the race. Like all Group One races, it will be very interesting.”

The Aga Khan silks are represented by Keran and Roshvar, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget and Francis-Henri Graffard respectively.

Keran was second in the Group Three Prix Djebel when last seen, with Roshvar a runner-up over course and distance on his last outing.

Georges Rimaud, director of the Aga Khan Studs in France, said: “Keran has worked very well and Jean-Claude Rouget thinks that he can stay a mile. It’s a gamble that’s worth taking.

“As for Roshvar, we’re continuing along the path we set ourselves. It’s true that he showed immaturity in the Prix Machado, but he’s learning through experience.”

Yann Barberot’s Beauvatier fared well as a two-year-old, winning four races and finishing third in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere before beginning this year with a second-placed run behind Ramadan in the Prix de Fontainebleau.

“Beauvatier worked very well on Monday morning. Maxime Guyon came to ride him,” Barberot said of the colt.

“He knows every inch of him and everything, so far, is going according to plan. The plan was, in fact, to ensure that he wasn’t fully wound up for his reappearance, with a view to stepping up on that effort in the Classic.

“He will have the notable advantage of being familiar with ParisLongchamp compared to the foreign colts.”

Christopher Head’s Ramadan is also a part of the field, with his Prix de Fontainebleau success preceded by a Listed win at Saint-Cloud.

Mathieu le Forestier, racing manager for owner Nurlan Bizakov, said: “The news concerning Ramadan is good and his trainer reports that he’s doing very well. His preparation has gone smoothly, and Christopher Head is following the pre-established plan.

“All the lights are flashing green. There won’t be that many runners, which means we can be more relaxed about our race plan. In a field of 13 runners, that’s enough to facilitate a fast-run race, while, by the same token, it should guarantee no hard-luck stories. The race should be a fluid one.

“Victory would be important in so many ways. Le Havre (the sire of Ramadan) died all too soon (in 2022) after putting the Haras de Montfort and Preaux stud on the map, so it would obviously make a lot of sense for us to have one of his sons as a stallion prospect.”

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