Porte Maillot: Looking for the right path

24 June 2020

Porte Maillot: Looking for the right path

Photo Prix du Palais-Royal : scoopdyga.com

Eight will start in the Prix de la Porte Maillot (Gr3), a race for 3-year-olds and above run on Thursday at ParisLongchamp over 7 furlongs. No 3-year-old has been confirmed even though 4 of the 5 last winners were of that age. The prix du Palais-Royal (Gr3), run over the same distance in May at Clairefontaine, is a good pointer for this. the winner Spinning Memories is out this time but her three best rivals on that day are in.

The prize is up for grabs! Yet, two raiders conditioned in England by Charlie Appleby will make their task not so easy…


  • 1. DUHAIL (g4, IRE by Lope de Vega ex Single, by Singspiel) Rating: 96lbs

Sold € 300,000 at the Deauville breeze-up sales in May 2018, he won his first two races, last year at 3 after being gelded, then took the second place in a Listed over 6 furlongs and had not been seen since when well beaten in the Prix de Saint-Georges (Gr3). He's back on the distance of his first two wins.

  • 2. WE GO (h4, FRA by No Nay Never ex Encore Merci, by Danehill Dancer) Rating: 104lbs

Purchased € 22,000 at the yearlings sales in Deauville, he won his maiden well on his second outing, at 2 over 6 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte. He then took the third place in the coveted Darley Prix de Cabourg (Gr3) in Deauville but failed in his last outing over 7 furlongs in the Prix La Rochette (Gr3). He then alternated good and not that good races at 3, but won his last race of the season, and confirmed with two victories again last Winter at Cagnes-sur-Mer then at Chantilly on the all-weather track, but he was never seen in a good position in the Prix de Saint-Georges (Gr3) and disappointed again in the Prix du Gros-Chene (Gr2) lately. He runs over 7 furlongs for the first time.

    3. D’BAI (g6, IRE by Dubawi ex Savannah belle, by Green Desert) Rating: 109lbs

    He's been all over the place and ran over distances from 6 to 10.5 furlongs as he finished 10th in the 2017 Prix du Jockey Club (Gr1)! Sixth in the 2018 Prix Maurice de Gheest (Gr1) at Deauville, then twice a Group2 2nd over 7 furlongs in Britain, he went to Dubai and they Australia, running only twice in 6 months without much success. He did well for his return, finishing 6th to his stablemate Space Blues.

    • 4. SPACE BLUES (h4, IRE by Dubawi ex Miss Lucifer, by Noverre) Rating: 115lbs

    He finished in the three first of his seven races in 2019 bar one, his first. He was 2nd in the Jersey Stakes (Gr3), 2nd in the Prix Jean Prat (Gr1) and 3rd in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (Gr1). Out between August and March, he failed on his way back at Meydan but won nicely at Haydock for his return in Europe on June 7th on this distance.

    • 5. STUNNING SPIRIT (h6, GB by Invincible Spirit ex Stunning View, by Dynaformer) Rating: 106lbs

    Supplemented for his return in the Prix Bertrand du Breuil (Gr3), nine days ago when fifth without showing much, he had previously won a Listed race in Doha over the mile. This versatile horse is always doing his best in this category. In the Prix du Palais-Royal (Gr3) at Clairefontaine, he stuck to the rail and bravely held on to finish 3rd at one length of the winner Spinning Memories, finishing with Azano, who went by the stands' rail. 

    6. AZANO (g4, GB by Oasis Dream ex Azanara, by Hurricane Run) Rating: 104lbs

    Gelded last September after finishing fifth out of five in a Group 2 at Doncaster, he had alternated good and poor form at the best level of the classic generation last season on both sides of the Channel with his previous trainer, John Gosden. He was closed to cause an upset in the Prix du Palais-Royal (Gr3) as his rider chose to go to the stands' rail in the last straight to trip to upstage the favourite Spinning Memories' usual final effort, and that just failed as he finished 2nd, beaten a length. He was, however, very brave on that day.

    • 7. STORMBRINGER (g5, GB by Dutch Art ex Riva Royale, by Royal Applause) Rating: 98lbs

    Consistent in handicaps across the Channel, he settled in France in the winter of 2018/2019 after being gelded. He did not really succeed in the first year but has just won for the first time on the Continent, by a head, in a handicap on the Chantilly all-weather in February. He tried to take on the best again in the Palais-Royal (Gr3) but had to settle for the 4th place after a lovely trip behind the winner, finishing 4th beaten by 4 lengths.

    • 8. GRACE SPIRIT (f4, GB by Invincible Spirit ex Gracefully, by Orpen) Rating: 97lbs

    She won her maiden in July 2019 for her 6th attempt and recorded her best result in November when 2nd beaten a neck by Invitational in a 3yo Fillies Listed at Fontainebleau on this distance and heavy ground. She has just finished 5th for her return at Vichy on this distance for her seasonal return.