09/03/2010 12:20PM

Paco Boy class of Moulin field

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A field of six goes to post for Sunday’s Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and an intriguing clash looks assured for what is always a high-quality race.

English raider Paco Boy will undoubtedly benefit from the absence of Makfi and Goldikova, who finished ahead of him at Deauville last month, but the 5-year-old Paco Boy will still have plenty on his plate with a strong challenge from the 3-year-olds in the field.

Invariably settled well off the pace and brought with a quick late run, the Richard Hannon-trained Paco Boy faces the smallest field he has ever encountered, and any tactical shenanigans are a potential worry. But his jockey Richard Hughes is riding in excellent form this season, and gets on very well with Paco Boy.

It would be no surprise to see a 3-year-old winner, as Lope de Vega and Siyouni can both provide an interesting case for their prospects.

The Andre Fabre-trained Lope de Vega is a dual French classic winner, taking the 2,000 Guineas there and French Derby in good style, before an extremely disappointing run in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat in July, a race he looked to have at his mercy beforehand.

Working on the assumption that you can forgive any horse one poor run, and the fact his trainer is a master at bring horses to peak form and indeed new heights in the autumn, Lope de Vega has strong claims on this race.

Siyouni, a Group 1-winning juvenile at this course last year, has tremendous talent, and his trainer, Alain de Royer Dupre, is expecting a good performance.

The remaining trio, Rio de la Plata, Fuisse and Via Medici, have each won a group race this year, but are likely up against it when compared with Paco Boy and Lope de Vega.

Makfi was a potential runner here, but he has been sold to Qatari interests to go to stud after this year. His new connections have decided to miss this race and concentrate on the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

– International Racing Bureau