07/13/2016 3:41PM

Mekhtaal looks to atone in Grand Prix de Paris


The French colt Mekhtaal ran a clunker on the biggest day of his career last month, finishing eighth of 16 as the 9-2 second choice in the French Derby at Chantilly.

The Group 1 French Derby was the first time Mehktaal finished worse than second in four starts. There is a chance for redemption at the highest level in Thursday’s $665,400 Grand Prix de Paris at Saint-Cloud racecourse. The Group 1 race is run at 1 1/2 miles on turf for 3-year-old colts and fillies.

Mekhtaal races for Al Shaqab Racing and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Gregory Benoist has the mount on Mekhtaal, who is expected to go favored in a field of nine.

Mehktaal won the Group 2 Prix Hocquart at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Deauville on May 15 and is one of seven stakes winners in the Grand Prix de Paris. Other prominent runners include Beacon Rocks, who was second in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, and Red Verdon, who was sixth in the English Derby and fourth in the Irish Derby last month.

Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing has a prominent runner in Cloth of Stars, the winner of the Group 3 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud on May 8 who was eighth in the English Derby.