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Ever-popular Talismanic respected back on home territory

J A McGrath

Godolphin has few more popular horses worldwide than Talismanic, who resumes racing following a short break in Wednesday’s G3 Prix Gontaut-Biron, over 2,000m at Deauville, France.

His last four starts have been in four different countries — America, Hong Kong, France and the UAE (Dubai).

He famously won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar in November, then finished second in the G1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December, won a conditions race on the all-weather at Chantilly in March, followed by a disappointing ninth in the G1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan 25 days later.

Talismanic will be having his first start in four and a half months when he faces six rivals in the Gontaut-Biron and trainer Andre Fabre is hoping to learn more about the five-year-old’s current level of fitness.

Fabre said: “He has his first start after a short holiday following the trip to Dubai. He’s well and happy in himself but he can be a bit lazy at home, so we’ll know a bit more after the race.”

The trainer will also send our Wren's Day, who comes to this off the back of an excellent second to Cracksman in the G1 Prix Ganay.

“He had a hard race in the Ganay, and he really needed time to recover,” Fabre said. “But he appears to be in good form and hopefully he’ll run well here,” he added.

The Chris Wall-trained First Sitting, who won the race last year, is in opposition, together with Subway Dancer and Alignement, fourth and fifth respectively 12 months ago.

The G2 Guillame d’Ornano, over a mile and a quarter, features the reappearance of G1 Prix du Jockey-Club winner Study Of Man and his runner-up Patascoy. Seven have been declared.

English visitors are the John Gosden-trained Crossed Baron and the Harry Dunlop-trained Knight To Behold, the Listed Lingfield Derby Trial winner.

Fabre will saddle Gyllen for Godolphin, and the progressive Medaglia d’Oro colt is entitled to be in contention following his recent win in the G2 Prix Eugene Adam at Masons-Laffitte.

“He’s a lovely, honest colt, who tries his hardest,” Fabre said. “He ran a very game race last time and he’ll need to have shown some improvement if he is to win again here,” he added.