A French Affair In The Sun Chariot
Sun Chariot Stakes
Newmarket serves up another mouth-watering card on Saturday, including the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes for females which takes place over a mile (3.30), where two of last year’s first four finishers in the race are set to do battle once more.
Esoterique On Revenge Mission
On that occasion 12 months ago, it was Sir Michael Stoute’s 5yo, Integral (7/2), who ran out a 1l winner from Miss France, with Esoterique (5/4) around 2l back in fourth. Integral took the race by the scruff of the neck on that occasion in dictating a slow pace to make all the running, counting against Esoterique, who had previously beaten Stoute’s filly in France.
Esoterique has also shown the best form since that showdown last year, going down by just 1l to Solow in a Group 1 at Royal Ascot, prior to another Group 1 runner-up slot at Deauville, before better luck on a return visit last month (1m, soft).
That career best effort shows that Esoterique is still improving, and as a winner on fast ground at Newmarket last year, she arrives with the best credentials.
Integral To Bounce Back?
As for Integral, then she cannot be dismissed, but Stoute will need to have produced some magic with her since she was last seen trailing fifth of six when backed into odds-on at Royal Ascot.
Andre Fabre, who will be bidding to improve the good record of French runners in this race, also trains Esoterique…
Sun Chariot Trends
Of the last 10 winners…
9 were officially rated 107 or higher
9 ran twice or less during last 90 days
9 had 10 career runs or less
9 were non-winners last time out
R Collet won it three times, Sir M Stoute twice
French Look Strong
The French are also represented by Bawina (8/1), who was a Group 2 winner over a mile in May, before two placed efforts in Group 1 company the last two times. She always runs her race and should be thereabouts.
Punters looking for bigger odds could do worse than considering Roger Varian’s improving 3yo, Realtra (12/1), a winner of her last two races, including a Group 3 win at Doncaster three weeks ago (7f, good).
Dettori The Value?
Then there is that man Frankie Dettori – could he bag another big race this season? The popular Italian partners Maimara (12/1), a Group 3 winner over a mile prior to a 2l fourth in Group 1 class behind Ervedya last month. She handles good ground and could be each-way material.
Esoterique ticks all the boxes in this race, and arrives as an improving French filly who recorded a career best, handles these conditions and hails from an in-form Andre Fabre yard.
*Prices correct at time of publication