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Talismanic to taste delights of Paris Longchamp for the first time

J A McGrath

It is hard to imagine a famous French horse having had 20 starts and still yet to experience Longchamp, the iconic racecourse situated in the heart of Paris.

However, the Andre Fabre-trained Talismanic, a G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and one of the most popular horses to have carried Godolphin colours, is precisely that horse.

The five-year-old is scheduled to make his Longchamp debut in Sunday’s G2 Prix Foy, in which he will stake his claim for another crack at the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, to be run on Sunday, 7 October.

Of course, a major factor in Talismanic never having run at Longchamp is that the course was closed for two years while a new grandstand was constructed.

During that period, the son of Medaglia D’Oro ran in Found’s 2016 Arc, which was transferred to Chantilly. He finished 11th of 16 runners.

He recently returned to racing on a high by winning a minor race at Deauville last month, appearing as zestful as ever.

Talismanic is joined by another Godolphin contender Cloth Of Stars as they take on four rivals, which include G1 St Leger winner Capri and G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Waldgeist.

Fabre said: “Talismanic is happy and well in himself. This is a prep race for the Arc, and he is discovering Longchamp for the first time.

“He’s fairly laid back at home, so we’ll know a bit more about his readiness for the Arc after Sunday,” he added.

As for Cloth Of Stars, runner-up to Enable in last year’s Arc at Chantilly, the trainer is hoping this high class five-year-old establishes valid claims for another shot at the race.

“He is making his comeback after a fine run (fourth to Waldgeist) in the G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. The saddle slipped turning for home and the jockey felt he was travelling very strongly at the time but it completely unbalanced him.

"He’s a horse with a very good turn-of-foot on his day. He’s in good order, and this race  will tell us where he goes next,” he added,

Godolphin’s Kitesurf, who notched a brilliant win at Deauville last month, faces seven rivals in the G1 Prix Vermeille, one of which is the Aga Khan’s Zarkamiya, a daughter of Frankel and the outstanding Zarkava.

Fabre said: “If Kitesurf brings her best level of form to this race, she will go close. She is coming to this off a good G2 win at Deauville, and the form was given a boost when the third God Given won at Doncaster this week.”

In the remaining Arc ‘trial,’ the G2 Prix Niel, Charlie Appleby sends over lightly-raced Brundtland, last start winner of a Listed race at Clairefontaine. The Dubawi colt is unbeaten in two starts.