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Tuesday 29 September 2015

Prix de l'abbaye

Sunday sees this years running of the main French Group 1 sprint race the Prix de l'abbaye at Longchamp.

Last season Move In Time was successful for David O'Meara in a time of 56.42s and become the 28th British trained winner of the race in 40 odd years and his own record at the track now reads 2211.
His latest win came on 13th September in the Group 3 Qatar Prix Du Petit Convert at the expense of Gengis and old rival Mirza (1051573) in 2nd and 3rd in a time of 57.30s. The previous years running of that race saw Mirza beat Move In Time by half a length in a faster run race (55.68s) on going described as Good.

The going is often given as very soft/heavy at Longchamp although the times never seem to reflect that - unless the distance is slightly shorter than 5f.

This year there are the usual number of British contenders to take on their French counterparts and although the draw often plays a big part in this race it may be wise to have a bet now and then have another look nearer the time.

Mecca's Angel would appear to have an outstanding chance  for Michael Dods. She ran at the course back in May in the Group 3 Prix Du Saint George and won by a comfortable 2 lengths on going described as Good to Soft in a time of 55.24s, she was drawn in stall 11 and Maarek the 2013 Prix de l'abbaye winner finished in 4th.

The last horse to win from a double figure draw was Marchand D'or in 2008 - stall 20 so Mecca's Angel comfortable win from stall 11 in May looks even better with that in mind.

Her Jockey as usual will be Paul Mulrennan who recently spoke to Attheraces about her chances "She's in great condition and I'm really looking forward to it. They're calling the ground soft at the moment and hopefully it stays like that. The ground should be perfect for her, you've got to remember she broke the track record out there on good ground. As long as it's good or good to soft and as long as there's no jar we'll be going there next week and we couldn't be happier with her - we all saw how good she was at York. Her coat is great, her weight is good and she was jumping out of her skin. It's hard to believe she only won a Group One a few weeks ago, all credit to Michael, he's been keeping a lid on her."

At a best price of 3/1 with several bookmakers she looks well worth a bet to follow up her Group 1 Nunthorpe win on what is likely to be her favoured going.

An outsider could be 2013 winner Maarek who finished with a rattle behind Mecca's Angel in  May and this Pivotal gelding is also well served by going on the soft side. Granted a reasonable draw the 20/1 currently quoted by Paddy Power could be too high.

Mecca's Angel - 1 point win
Maarek - 0.5 point each way