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Well, for obvious reasons this year at Ascot looks like being the weakest French challenge for some time but hats off to those who are going to wade through the logistical difficulties of getting their horses there, notably Francis Graffard who plans to have three runners.

Plumatic has a chance of making the frame

Plumatic runs in the Queen Anne stakes on opening day. Previously a Wertheimer horse trained by André Fabre, he changed hands at the end of his five-year-old season and now runs under the colours of Gerry Ryan and is trained by Francis Graffard. Now a six-year-old entire, but lightly raced with only 13 lifetime starts of which he has won four, he’s by Dubawi out of a Group 1 winner, so he has the page to get his picture taken at Ascot. A Group 2 winner last year, he comes off a respectable run when he finished second, beaten three lengths by the useful Petreville in a Group 3 over a mile. However, he’s going to have to put in a lifetime’s best performance to win this, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him running into a place.

Wasmya shouldn't be ruled out

Wasmya is a lightly-raced four-year-old filly and daughter of Toronado, who takes her chance in the Duke of Cambridge stakes. A winner of two of her six lifetime starts she has a respectable CV, but off a rating of 101 she has a little bit to find here to bag this one. She ran a decent race last time out at Longchamp to be second to the hard knocking Spinning Memories. With Mr Ascot, Frankie Dettori, on board she will possibly go off at lower odds than one might expect but she’s a consistent filly who shouldn’t be ruled out.

Fabrice Chappet is in fine form

Celestin goes for the Jersey stakes off a solid 4th place in the Poule d’essai des Poulains behind Victor Ludorum. A son of Dabirsim, winner of 2 of 5 starts and with a rating of 110, he’s lightly raced but hasn’t blotted his copybook yet and 7 furlongs at Ascot should suit him well. His trainer, Fabrice Chappet, has been having a terrific run recently and for those who like backing trainers in form you’d have to take him in to consideration.

Wooded could have the best chance of the French runners

Wooded is another lighted raced three year old who is on an upward trajectory. A son of the red hot Wootton Bassett, he heads for the Commonwealth Cup. I read that it might not be the strongest renewal this year and I really liked the way this horse won a Group 3 at Chantilly last time out. He flew home winning by 3.5 lengths in what looked like a sharp time of 1.08.9 for six furlongs. Its not easy to beat the tough seasoned sprinters that he will meet next Saturday but this lad could have the best chance of the four French runners during the week.


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