Diane Draw Kind to Joan of Arc

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Coeursamba | Scoop Dyga

Thursday saw the draw made for Sunday's G1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly, with a field of 18 diminished to 17 following the instant withdrawal of Dr Christoph Berglar's G2 Diana Trial winner Amazing Grace (Ger) (Protectionist {Ger}) due to her outside stall in 17. Aidan O'Brien is looking for a third French Classic in 2021 and a first success in the 10 1/2-furlong feature with Joan of Arc (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who was denied late by Empress Josephine (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas at The Curragh May 23. She will be ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal, who partnered St Mark's Basilica (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) to a first G1 Prix du Jockey Club for Ballydoyle over the same course and distance two weeks ago. Upped to middle distances for the first time, she has been favourably drawn in five while Godolphin, Ecurie des Monceaux and Ecurie Skymarc Farm's Apr. 6 G3 Prix Penelope winner Philomene (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) is in eight. Abdullah bin Fahad Al Attiyah's May 16 G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Coeursamba (Fr) (The Wow Signal {Ire}) is next door in nine, with trainer Jean-Claude Rouget explaining his decision to re-route his filly here.

“It's true that after the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches that I had talked about the possibility of keeping Coeursamba to a mile and having a crack at the Coronation S. was mooted. However on the one hand, making travel arrangements is very complicated, and on the other she would have had to be supplemented,” he said. “There would have been a significant cost factor to all of us and we had to weigh this against the prize money on offer for the Diane, even if you only get placed. Therefore, we'll try the step up in distance, knowing that the filly worked very well on Monday morning. If the 2100 metres proves to be too far, we'll still have the option of reverting to a mile without having devalued the filly. Cristian Demuro will ride her.”

There was a blow for Gerard Augustin-Normand, with his May 24 G1 Prix Saint-Alary winner Incarville (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) drawn widest of all in 18, and the news what not much better for Yeguada Centurion SL's 'TDN Rising Star' Sibila Spain (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) who will have to navigate stall 15.

Chantilly's Marin Le Cour Grandmaison is hoping the forecast thunderstorms do not wreak havoc. “On Wednesday morning, the ground rated 3.2 [good] on the penetrometer scale, so we are in the same situation as we were before the Qatar Prix du Jockey-Club,” he said. “Thunderstorms are forecast from Thursday morning onwards and, for the moment, it is difficult to predict how the ground will ride on Sunday. It will really depend on the amount of rainfall and it's quite random. Given the very sandy nature of the soil, the course drains and the track hasn't been used since the Jockey-Club. It has been mowed, rolled and aerated. The far running rail will remain in its usual place. It's really a headache when it comes to anticipating how many millimetres of rain will fall on the course and the storms will be the key determiner regarding the state of the ground.”

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