So Mi Dar out to star in Opera
Latest news from connections of the British raiders heading to Chantilly on Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe day.
So Mi Dar: Goes for the Prix de l'Opera
So Mi Dar belatedly gets her shot at Group One glory in the Prix de l'Opera at Chantilly on Sunday.
As a daughter of Dubawi out of multiple Group One-winning mare Dar Re Mi, the John Gosden-trained three-year-old is certainly bred for the job and looked every inch a top-class prospect when waltzing clear in the Musidora Stakes at York in May.
However, a subsequent setback ruled out an intended Classic bid in the Investec Oaks at Epsom and she failed to recover in time to contest the Irish equivalent a month later.
She began to make up for lost time with a comeback success in a Listed event at Yarmouth less than three weeks ago and connections are hoping she can maintain her unbeaten record in Paris.
Simon Marsh, racing manager for owner-breeders Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, said: "She's in very good shape, John is very happy with her and she's ready to take her chance.
"It was frustrating to miss the middle part of the season. Hopefully she can make up for it on Sunday, but these races are never easy.
"It's a big step up from a Listed race to a Group One and there are some other nice fillies in the race.
"I don't think the ground makes too much difference to her. I don't think she'd want extremes either way, but she's won on good to firm and soft ground, so I don't see it being an issue."
So Mi Dar is opposed by fellow British raider Speedy Boarding.
James Fanshawe's filly turned in a career-best performance to win the Group One Prix Jean Romanet in August and now bids for her third win on French soil.
"She won very nicely at Deauville and is in good form," said the Newmarket handler.
"She won the Group Two at Saint-Cloud and the Group One last time.
"We're very happy with her and we just hope for some luck in running.
"I think a bit of rain would be good everyone."
Jim Bolger's Pleascach, not seen in competitive action since finishing fourth in last year's Irish Champion Stakes, also features in a seven-strong field.
Arc day commences with the Total Prix Marcel Boussac, in which Gosden's Dabyah spearheads a three-pronged British challenge.
The daughter of Sepoy made a winning debut at Newmarket in July and was hugely impressive on her return from a break at Newbury a fortnight ago.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, said: "It's a big step up for her and she's not got the best of draws (stall 10).
"She was very impressive at Newbury and we know she's in good shape as she breezed well the other day.
"We'd have been happier with a better draw, but we'll see what she can do."
Charlie Appleby's Wuheida and Baileys Showgirl from Mark Johnston's yard also contest the one-mile contest, with Irish hopes resting on the shoulders of Aidan O'Brien's Promise To Be True.
The juvenile colts get their chance to shine in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Sylvester Kirk's Salouen will need to raise his game to make his presence felt, while O'Brien saddles Whitecliffsofdover and Utah.
The Prix de la Foret brings the afternoon to a close, with Henry Candy's Limato very much the star attraction.
The brilliant July Cup hero had to play second fiddle to Mecca's Angel when dropped to five furlongs in the Nunthorpe at York and jockey Harry Bentley expects him to be seen in a better light back over seven furlongs this weekend.
Limato was runner-up to Make Believe when favourite for last year's renewal.
Bentley told At The Races: "He's very well, I rode him Tuesday and I was very pleased with him.
"As always, he's a good work horse and we can judge how well he is at home so it's all systems go.
"The weather forecast is dry which is good, it depends what they want to do watering wise.
"At this stage conditions look in his favour and to me this looks a great target for him. It was a good run last year and the seven-furlong trip is perfect.
"He was slowly away last year, which he did a little bit last season and gave away an advantage but he made up an awful lot of ground and was the eyecatcher of the race.
"Coming into the season we thought seven was his trip, and I probably still do, but he's shown incredible speed running in a Nunthorpe and winning the July Cup, he's very versatile.
"It's incredibly exciting, a dream position to be in."
David O'Meara's Suedois, the Richard Hannon-trained Coulsty, Richard Fahey's Birchwood and Same Jurisdiction from Ed Dunlop's yard are also part of the 12-strong field.
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