Wootton and Olmeda put a gap on their rivals in the Group Three Prix de Fontainebleau last month and they are expected to do the same in Sunday’s Group One Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1,600m) at Longchamp.
While Henri-Alex Pantall’s Wootton got the chocolates on that occasion, the trainer of the runner-up, Jean-Claude Rouget, believes they are clearly the top three-year-olds in the country.
“Obviously, I hope that we can come out on top on Sunday, but either way I think they are the best three-year-old colts we have in France, clearly superior to the rest,” Rouget said.
The Fontainebleau is regarded as the best trial ahead of the race often known as the French 2,000 Guineas, so the early markets agree with Rouget’s assessment installing Wootton the $3 favourite, just ahead of Olmedo.
In the Fontainebleau, Mickael Barzalona controlled the race from the front on Wootton, fending off the Cristian Demuro-ridden Olmedo, who really took it up to him over the last 250m.
“I was a bit worried beforehand as he was edgy in the paddock but he was pretty relaxed in the race and, though it might have looked as though Wootton had a hard race, in fact when the other horse came alongside he just needed a little shake of the reins,” Pantall said of the bay colt’s third straight career victory.
The next two in the market are the Fabrice Chappet-trained Dice Roll ($6) and dual Group One winner US Navy Flag ($11) from the powerful Coolmore team of Aidan O’Brien.
The other feature of the meeting is the Group One Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (1,600m) – the French 1,000 Guineas – for the three-year-old fillies.
Freddy Head’s Polydream heads the fixed-priced market at $4.50, but it is second elect Musis Amica ($6) who is creating plenty of buzz.
She has had just two starts and is undefeated, winning the Group Three Prix de la Grotte over this course and distance last month.
“She comes into the race in great form,” Fabre said. “She is a progressive filly, who handles the track well. She lacks a bit of experience compared to some of the others, but she should give a good account of herself.”
The others in the market are Barkaa ($6.50), Coeur De Beaute ($8) and Could It Be Love ($11).
The Jockey Club is simulcasting six races from France on Sunday, with the first event getting underway at 8pm.