Will A Rouget Trained Horse Retain The Prix d’Ispahan Crown?
The Prix d’Ispahan has attracted a disappointing turnout with just one British contender. The one to beat is probably seven-time winner Taareef trained by Jean-Claude Rouget (who also trains 2017 winner Mekhtaal). He would be a tough nut to crack here if anywhere near the form he showed when three quarters of a length second to Ribchester in last year’s Prix du Moulin at Chantilly.
Recoletos did well to make up three lengths on the previous year's winner Jimmy Two Times when winning at Saint-Cloud, and he looks the type to make his mark again at Group 1 level this year (in the frame in both the Prix du Jockey Club and Champion Stakes in 2017).
The six-year-old Almodovar (also trained by Rouget) however looks up against it here while Trais Fluors seems to be a top contender. He was well held in the Dubai Turf at Meydan last time.
The seven-year-old German raider Wild Chief completes the field, but has been nowhere near his best on his last two starts, sporting blinkers on each occasion. He has plenty to prove now, but bounced back to his 2015 best when winning at Dortmund last summer and can’t be completely ruled out in what looks a very winnable Group 1.