Recoletos (23/10f), the star French miler who was firmly put in his place by the flying Alpha Centauri at Deauville last month, bounced back to win the Group 1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp on Sunday and is on course to bid for the Group 1 QEII Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day.
Paying a massive compliment to the Jessica Harrington-trained star filly who defeated him with something to spare by two-and-a-half lengths in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois, Recoletos, giving a canny ride by star French jockey Olivier Peslier, bounced back to winning ways by seeing off the Andre Fabre-trained Wind Chimes (77/10) by a head, with Sir Michael Stoute’s smart Expert Eye (53/10) running with credit to take third. Other British raiders, Sussex Stakes hero Lightning Spear and St James’s Palace Stakes winner Without Parole, finished out of the frame in fifth and sixth positions respectively.
Recoletos is now in to 6/1 with 888sport for the one mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (the QEII) at Ascot on October 20th, a contest that is one of the main events on Qipco British Champions Day. Alpha Centauri herself is a top priced 4/1 market leader with Paddy Power, while 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior is a 5/1 shot with Bet365.
“Olivier is the best,” enthused winner trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias when asked on At The Races about the winning ride. “It was a really good Group One race today with firm ground, but that was better because we always say the winner only ran on soft ground, so he’s proved he likes firm. All his best races have been on good ground.
“He will go to Ascot, probably for the QEII, on Champions Day. We will stay at the mile and then maybe the Breeders’ Cup, that’s normally the programme.”
Alpha Centauri is set to run this coming weekend in the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday for which she is a red-hot 1/2 favourite with William Hill.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.