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Prince Of Wales: So You Think vs. Planteur
by Geir Stabell ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2011-06-14 05:51:42 (First published: 2011-06-14 05:48:24 )

Royal Ascot Wednesday:

French raiders have done well in this event in recent years but, despite the fact that Planteur brings rock solid form to the table, this Parisian star will not be favourite for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes (G1) on day two of the prestigious meeting.

So You Think - an undisputed champion in Australia last year - has been talked up as an absolute monster, and he will be odds-on to win this event. Is that correct? Reputedly the best thing to come from 'down under' since the boomerang, he will have some burden on his shoulders. It should be an interesting race.


Royal Ascot 15 June 2011 3yo+ 1 miles

Runners presented with best Globeform rating, sire, trainer / jockey
Globeform ratings are expressed in pounds. One length equals 2lb over this distance

127 - SO YOU THINK (High Chapparal) A O'Brien / R Moore
123 - PLANTEUR (Danehill Dancer) E Lellouche / C Soumillon
123 - TWICE OVER (Observatory) Sir Henry Cecil / T Queally
119p - REWILDING (Tiger Hill) M Al Zarooni / F Dettori
118 - JAN VERMEER (Montjeu) A O'Brien / J O'Brien
117 - SRI PUTRA (Oasis Dream) R Varian / N Callan
117 - DEBUSSY (Diesis) M Al Zarooni / A Ajtebi


SO YOU THINK Reputedly the best thing to come out of Australia since the boomerang...

PLANTEUR Significant improvement in France this year, won key race last out, big danger

TWICE OVER Ran second in this last year, unlucky behind Byword, tougher task this time

REWILDING First start since winning Sheema Classic in Dubai, best over 1 miles

JAN VERMEER Shown some talent but light sort with no scope, smells of pacemaker for So You Think

SRI PUTRA Performance of his life when second to Twice Over in last year's Eclipse, not reproduced it

DEBUSSY Got lucky when beating Gio Ponti in Arlington Million, not really a top class horse


, an outstanding champion in Australia, where he was totally dominating over 9 and 10 furlongs and won two editions of the prestigious Cox Plate (G1), is ready for he first real test in Europe. True, he has won twice already in Ireland, and picked up his first G1 win in the northern hemishpere when landing the Tattersalls Gold Cup over this distance at The Curragh in May, but he has had very little to beat. Putting Campanologist in his place does not exactly confirm you are a superstar.

A race against a bang in form Planteur and the battle hardened warrior Twice Over will be quite different. So You Think deserves to start favourite, no doubt about that, but he should not be a 1/2-chance. That makes him almost as big a favourite as Frankel in the St. James's Palace on opening day and it does not add up. If he runs up to his best form he will be hard to beat though, as this son of High Chaparral clearly is something special. He won four Group One events on the bounce before failing to stay 2 miles in the Melbourne Cup (G1), where he had to settle for third behind the French trained winner Americain (beaten 3 lengths while conceding 3lb). That he was out of his comfort zone that day can be best illustrated by the fact that he had woon a G2 over 7 furlongs earlier in the year. So, shall we back him at cramped odds, pass on the race and simply enjoy the spectacle, or bet against him? Let's take a shot against him.

PLANTEUR has impressed in France this year winning both starts, he beat a solid bunch of G1 performers in the Prix Ganay (G1) at Longchamp in May. Planteur took care of the top class filly Sarafina by a length there and he looks a real value bet at Ascot. At around 7-2 he can actually be backed each-way (win & show). That seems safe enough.

The Ganay form has received two solid boosts in recent weeks. Sarafina was most impressive as she hacked up in the Prix Corrida (G2) next time out and Cirrus des Aigles, who finished third in the Ganay, gave Goldikova a fright in the Prix d'Ispahan (G1) three weeks ago. Cirrus des Aigles finished really well in that contest, and Goldikova was all out to hold him by a neck. He even went on to win the La Coupe (G3) at Longchamp on Monday. These formlines point to the conclusion that Planteur is a vastly improved performer this year, and he must have a good chance in the Prince Of Wales.

TWICE OVER, back-to-back winner of the Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket, is making his second start since running below form in the Dubai World Cup (G1) at Meydan in March, where he had won the Al Maktoum Challenge III (G2) from Musir as a prep. He came back in the Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newbury but probably found the mile trip too short and came home in sixth behind Canford Cliffs.

Sir Henry Cecil's contender ran a good second to Byword in the 2010 Prince Of Wales's Stakes (G1). Byword won by half a length but Twice Over was trapped a crucial stage of the finish and was perhaps an unlucky loser. He subsequently won the Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown Park (beating Sri Putra by half a length) and Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket an event he had landed also in 2009. Twice Over beat Mawatheeq by half a length on that occasion and his second Champion Stakes success came at the expense of the classy French raider Vision d'Etat, who was beaten almost two lengths by a strong and determined Twice Over. Sent into the lead two furlongs from home, he ran on well and was never in any danger. He is one of Europe's best over 1 miles and Twice Over can never be discounted.

REWILDING was making his seasonal debut when beating Redwood by 3 lengths to take the Sheema Classic (G1) at Meydan in March. This will be his first run since. He is an interesting horse but this is a tough spot after a layoff and he is at his best over further, so must be seen as a longshot. He began his career with French champion trainer Andre Fabre, but was transferred to Al Zarooni's team in Newmarket with a view to a crack at the Epsom Derby (G1). Rewilding won his prep race for Epsom in fine style, landing the Cocked Hat Stakes (LR) by 4 lengths from Prizefighting at Goodwood, and he progressed well off that run - proving good enough to grab third at Epsom. Workforce, who won the classic by 7 lengths, was way too good, but in finishing third Rwilding had high-class performers Jan Vermeer and Midas Touch immediately behind him. The latter was runner-up when Rewilding continued his climb towards the top by winning the Great Voltiguer Stakes (G2) at York in August. The son of Tiger Hill was visually so impressive that day, cruising home 4 lengths clear under a very confident Dettori, and he became favourite for the St. Leger (G1) at Doncaster the following month. For whatever reason, he did not look the same horse in the Leger. Rewilding had perhaps simply lost his form, and the 1 3/4-mile trip may also have been unsuitable. He could manage only sixth, 6 lengths behind Arctic Cosmos, while Midas Touch finished second. Overall, Rewilding's record is solid, he is a possible improver but he will find more suitable races ahead.




EW / WIN & PLACE: 3 Planteur

2 EXACTAS: 3 and 5 boxed / reversed

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