05/10/2013 3:41PM

Longchamp: Both French Guineas could belong to Fabre


It has been only three years since Andre Fabre won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and two years since he won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), and Fabre appears to have a chance to sweep both French classic races Sunday at Longchamp in Paris.

Intello, Fabre’s entrant in the Poulains, has won all three of his starts and should yet have room to improve – which he will need to do if he is to win Sunday from post 18, a difficult draw for the one-mile Poulains, which, like the Pouliches, is contested around one right-handed bend. Fabre has two legitimate chances in the Pouliches with Tasaday and Esoterique. Esoterique, an exciting twice-started filly, was supplemented into the race this week and is the choice of Fabre’s No. 1 rider, Maxime Guyon.

Intello, at least in the English-speaking racing press, has not received nearly the same attention as Olympic Glory, the English-based, Richard Hannon-trained colt whose only loss in six starts was a second-place finish behind Dawn Approach, the undefeated pro tem leader of European 3-year-olds. That attention, though, might be misplaced, since French-based runners have won the last five editions of the race.

Olympic Glory is making his second trip to France, the first having produced a victory in the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere last fall, and though the heavy going he encountered then is expected to be replaced by good ground Sunday, Olympic Glory has held form in diverse conditions. His 3-year-old debut, a one-length win in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, was more workmanlike than brilliant, though Olympic Glory could move forward Sunday. Hannon, who won the English 1000 Guineas last weekend with Sky Lantern, also entered Havana Gold, who breaks from post 11, one stall inside Olympic Glory.

As for Intello, the Wertheiner et Frere homebred Galileo colt has started his career 3 for 3, and though he makes his group stakes debut Sunday, Intello looks ready. He prepped for the start last month at Newmarket, winning by more than three lengths in a listed race where Glory Awaits, the subsequent English 2000 Guineas runner-up, finished third.

Three other main players exit the April 14 Prix Fontainebleau, which saw Gengis win by a half-length over Morandi, who had a nose on US Law. Of that trio, Morandi might have the best chance to step forward.

The Pouliches has even a longer recent history of French dominance than the Poulains, with France-based fillies having won 10 in a row, a streak that seems likely to continue. Tasaday, winner of her three starts at 2, finished second in the Prix de la Grotte, her 3-year-old bow, and can improve from the race, but Esoterique might prove the superior filly in the Fabre stable. Unraced at 2, Esoterique won a maiden race April 9, and on April 28 she easily outfinished Group 1 winner Silasol to secure her second victory.

Also among the Pouliches field – which attracted 22 entrants but is capped at 20 runners – is Flotilla, who in her most recent start won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita.