06/03/2011 2:39PM

Longchamp: French Derby's top two may be vulnerable


A pair of Guineas winners, Roderic O’Connor and Tin Horse, are the two favorites in Sunday’s Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) at Longchamp, but several lesser-known entrants might have an equally good chance.

Roderic O’Connor won the Irish 2000 Guineas in his most recent outing, but was aided by controlling a slow pace while runner-up Dubawi Gold endured a dreadful trip. Tin Horse, meanwhile, won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) in his most recent start, but was helped by a subpar performance from favored Wooton Bassett, and might not have beaten a strong field. Moreover, neither Roderic O’Connor nor Tin Horse has raced beyond one mile, and the French Derby is contested over 1 5/16 miles.

John Gosden-trained Colombian makes his stakes debut but nevertheless is an interesting prospect. He ran decently over shorter distances in his first two starts and came nicely forward while traveling 1 1/4 miles in a maiden stakes last month turning left at Chester. He beat a potentially decent horse, Tanfeeth, by two lengths, while Tanfeeth finished 10 lengths clear of third.

Baraan, owned by the Aga Khan, won over the course and distance in the April 10 Group 3 Prix de la Force, beating French Derby entrant Prairie Star as well as Pour Moi, who was to start as one of the favorites Saturday in the English Derby. Reliable Man, unraced at 2, has gone 2 for 2 this year, winning twice over 10 furlongs while beating competent opposition. Crackerjack King is undefeated in four starts and exits an easy win in the Italian Derby, but meets by far the strongest competition of his career on Sunday.