The Tough Get Going At Chantilly


Aidan O'Brien's Blackbeard looms large in the G2 Prix Robert Papin | Scoop Dyga


It's getting hotter by the hour in Europe and Sunday's pattern-race tests at Chantilly and The Curragh will call for that extra element from the protagonists who brave the heat. One who has shown abundant courage despite being just a greenhorn is Ballydoyle's Blackbeard (Ire) (No Nay Never), who tackles the six-furlong G2 Darley Prix Robert Papin which will be his sixth juvenile start and third since his impressive success in The Curragh's G3 Marble Hill S. over this trip May 21. Aidan O'Brien is not known for taking in this prize, which was formerly a 5 1/2-furlong contest staged at the now defunct Maisons-Laffitte, but he changes tack this year and also saddles The Antarctic (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who looked in need of this trip when a narrow third in the five-furlong June 29 Listed Tipperary S. Nurlan Bizakov's Belbek (Fr) (Showcasing {GB}) heads the home defence for the Andre Fabre stable, returning to the course and distance of his defeat of the re-opposing Lova (Fr) (Goken {Fr}) in the June 19 G3 Prix du Bois.


Kildare Pearls

At The Curragh, the seven-furlong G2 Romanised Minstrel S. sees Haras De Saint Pair's Pearls Galore (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) bid for a fourth group success having extended that tally in this venue's G2 Lanwades Stud S. over a mile May 22. Ballydoyle's stalwart Order Of Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}) is back to defend his title in this race, having shown up well for a long way when third in Royal Ascot's G1 Queen Anne S. June 14, while Peter Brant's 'TDN Rising Star' Dr Zempf (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) puts his reputation on the line in deeper waters than when successful in Leopardstown's G3 Ballycorus S. over this trip June 9. The card's nine-furlong G2 Kilboy Estate S. is a wide-open affair, with Lael Stables' June 5 G2 Prix de Sandringham winner Purplepay (Fr) (Zarak {Fr}) back from a mile-and-a-quarter trip that might have stretched her when fifth in the track's June 26 G1 Pretty Polly S.

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