Richard Fahey is disappointed that Frankie Dettori is not able to ride Sandiva in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Sunday.
Sandiva was bought by Dettori’s boss Sheikh Joaan Al Thani before Royal Ascot, where she finished second in the Albany Stakes.
The filly then bounced back to win a Group Three over seven furlongs at Deauville in impressive style, after which Dettori told Fahey he could not wait to ride her on Arc weekend. Unfortunately for the Italian, he injured his ankle at Nottingham on Wednesday, and Richard Hughes substitutes.
Fahey said: “I’m a bit worried about the trip in soft ground, but only because she’s never done it before. She’s very relaxed at home and she’ll give herself every chance of staying it and she’s getting better all the time.
“Last time she was impressive and that was despite things going against her. The pacemaker unseated coming out of the stalls and she was stuck out on the wing.
“We’ve got Richard Hughes to ride after a lot of ringing around, but I’d have loved Frankie to have ridden, he was so looking forward to riding her. Life can be cruel sometimes, but Richard Hughes is not a bad replacement.”
Another British challenger is the Olly Stevens-trained Hoku, who was supplemented after being denied in a Group Three at Ayr.
The handler said: “She’s been in very good form lately and she should love the ground. I’ve always felt that she’d get further eventually so we’re trying her over seven.
“She’s getting better with racing. It was heartbreaking to be beaten so narrowly at Ayr, that was the second time in just a few days it had happened to us (Lightning Thunder beaten in the Oh So Sharp Stakes).
“We’re taking a commercial view with her, she only cost �14,000 from Doncaster and if she can get some black type in a Group One she becomes very valuable. She already is, but it is worth trying to add to it.”
Charlie Hills’ Queen Catrine, second to Lucky Kristale in the Lowther, and Godolphin’s Majeyda, second in the May Hill, complete the British challenge.
The home team looks strong with Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Veda, Jean-Claude Rouget’s Lesstalk In Paris and Freddie Head’s Royalmania all defending unbeaten records.
Head said: “She is a very nice filly and I think she will be very good next year. At the moment she is still quite fragile, but she has got a lot of talent, so we will see how she runs on Sunday. The ground should not be a problem for her, as long as there is not a lot of rain. If it is just on soft side like we think it will be that will be good.”Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines