La Coupe challenge for Spotify and Soleil Marin
Spotify (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) started 2019 in excellent form at Meydan, UAE, winning a 12-furlong handicap in January and then making all to capture the G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes over a mile and a quarter in February.
The son of Redoute's Choice, who was a close fourth in last year’s La Coupe, makes his first appearance since finishing seventh behind stable companion Old Persian in the 12-furlong G2 Dubai City Of Gold Sponsored By Emirates SkyCargo at Meydan on Super Saturday, 9 March.
Soleil Marin (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) quickened strongly for a comfortable success in the G3 Prix Exbury over 10 furlongs at Saint-Cloud in March, adding to his previous G3 victory in the Prix Noailles over half a furlong further at Chantilly in April, 2017.
He heads back to Longchamp following two good efforts at the course this year, with the son of Kendargent runner-up to another Godolphin contender Ghaiyyath in the 10-furlong G2 Prix d’Harcourt on Sunday, 7 April and fourth in the G1 Prix Ganay over half a furlong further on Sunday, 28 April.
The Godolphin duo face six rivals in La Coupe including G2 winners Royal Julius and Success Days plus G1 E P Taylor Stakes runner-up Golden Legend.
Charlie Appleby remarked: “Spotify put up two decent performances out in Dubai and has been gelded since he ran on Super Saturday.
“The step back to a mile and a quarter should suit and he is fresh and well at the moment.
“If he can repeat the level of either of his wins over the winter, he should be bang there.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin commented: “Soleil Marin has started his season very well and is in great form.
“This looked a good opportunity for him after the Prix Ganay, although it is a tougher contest than we initially anticipated.
“He has twice run well at Longchamp already this year and we are hopeful that he can produce another good performance.”
Longchamp also hosts the mile Listed Prix Volterra for three-year-old fillies on the same card, in which 2018 Newmarket maiden winner Lover’s Knot (Mickael Barzalona), drawn 10 of the 10 runners, makes her first start since switching trainers from Charlie Appleby to Henri-Alex Pantall.