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Horse-racing: Andre Fabre chases history in French Classic.

Dubai: French great Andre Fabre will attempt to win the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby), Europe's premier race for three-year-olds, for the second successive year when he saddles a pair of exciting prospects for Godolphin.

The 24-time champion handler, who oversees the training of Godolphin's French team at his base at Chantilly, is likely to be represented by Earnshaw and Army Bulletin in Sunday's 2,100m contest which carries a purse of aAeu1.5 million (Dh9.2 million).

The last trainer to complete back-to-backs win in France's premier Classic was Alain de Royer-Dupre following Darshn and Mouktar's victories in 1984-'85.

Fabre became a Godolphin handler in 2008 after His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, purchased one of his yards at Chantilly located close to Chantilly Racecourse.

Darley homebred Earnshaw finished a noteworthy second to ante-post favourite Prince Gibraltar in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud on his last start four weeks ago, while the consistent Army Bulletin may have earned himself a shot at the French showpiece as a result of a good performance in the Group 3 Prix De Guiche at Chantilly two weeks ago.

Fabre is also looking for a fourth success in the Chantilly feature following Intello (2013), Lope de Vega (2010) and Peintre Celebre (1997).

Godolphin have won the contest once in the past when Saeed Bin Surour sent out Shamardal to clinch the contest in 2005. Previously, Old Vic won the race for Shaikh Mohammad in 1989 under Steve Cauthen.

Among the 21 horses who have stood their ground at the forfeit stage are Irish-trained Geoggrey Chaucer French 2,000 Guineas hero Karkontie and Kevin Ryan's Dante Stakes victor The Grey Gatsby.

Geoggrey Chaucer, who also holds an entry for the Epsom Derby on June 7, was beaten for a first time in three starts in the Derrinstown Stud trial behind Fascinating Rock and Ebanoran. A half-brother to Godolphin's Shamardal, winner of the first Prix du Jockey Club run over the current 10 1/2 furlong trip in 2005, he is likely to be joined by stable companion Adelaide, in the journey across the Channel for the weekend feature.

Adelaide was narrowly beaten in Longchamp's Prix Hocquart but caught the eye when upstaging stable companion Mekong River in the Group Three Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh last Sunday.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 29, 2014
Words:415
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