Blue Rose Cen charged up for ParisLongchamp glory

Blue Rose Cen will not be travelling to England this summer, whatever the outcome for the “magical filly” in the French 1000 Guineas at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

The classy daughter of Churchill is a warm order to land the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches for trainer Christopher Head, following five wins from her last six starts.

She signed off last season with a five-length victory in the Prix Marcel Boussac and opened her Classic campaign with a cosy defeat of Lindy – who reopposes – in the Group Three Prix de la Grotte over course and distance.

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Crucially, Blue Rose Cen will have the heavy ground in the mile Classic that she seems to thrive upon, following heavy rain in Paris this week.

Head said: “She is a really beautiful filly and we are very happy and very lucky to have her – she is a really magical filly.

“We are pretty happy because we are having a very rainy week. It is very good for me. She loves to get her toe in and while it may inconvenience a few, it will not inconvenience her.

“She has been professional all through her two-year-old season and she just keeps doing her thing.

“She doesn’t care what happens around her, she just likes to run and she is just brilliant at it.

“The first start of the season, she was brilliant in front and that wasn’t an easy one, but she did well. She has come out of the race very well and we are lucky enough to go into the race full of confidence. She has always been tough in her races.

“We have not got to her limit, we haven’t seen the max yet. Last time was her first race of the season so we were not hard on her. It wasn’t the point to push her until the limit. Now the French Guineas is pretty much an objective, so we are going to do everything we can to win this race.

“We have decided not to got to Royal Ascot. The owner and I have discussed a lot about it and we really want to focus with the French programme this year.

“We may look at Royal Ascot next year or the year after.”

Never Ending Story made a fine start to her Classic season at Leopardstown
Never Ending Story made a fine start to her Classic season at Leopardstown (Niall Carson/PA)

Aidan O’Brien saddles Never Ending Story, who has five and a half lengths to make up on Blue Rose Cen on their run in the Marcel Boussac but showed her well-being with a cosy win on her seasonal bow at Leopardstown last month.

“She won a Group Three last season and she shaped very well in both starts in Group One afterwards, running better than her final position suggested both times,” jockey Ryan Moore said in his Betfair blog.

“And you had to be very impressed by her return at Leopardstown, when she put the subsequent Guineas third Matilda Picotte away pretty easily.

“This is a good race, as you’d expect, with Group One winners like Blue Rose Cen in the field, but I think she is set to run a big race. She’s in good shape.”

Ryan Moore was impressed by Never Ending Story's return
Ryan Moore was impressed by Never Ending Story’s return (Damien Storan/PA)

The Karl Burke-trained Swingalong provides British interest with connections hopeful she can build on her juvenile campaign which was capped with Group Two glory in York’s Lowther Stakes.

The daughter of Showcasing stepped up to seven furlongs for the first time on her three-year-old debut and finished third to Remarquee in the Fred Darling at Newbury.

Philip Robinson, racing manager to Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, feels she will get a mile, although testing conditions puts doubt in his mind.

“We don’t know about the heavy ground, but she is working well and looks good. She is in great shape,” said the former top jockey.

Swingalong tries a mile for the first time
Swingalong tries a mile for the first time (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Heavy ground is an unknown. She ran well behind Remarquee and I know Bruce Raymond (who shares racing manager responsibilities) thinks she could be in the first three.

“We are very hopeful. She is a very genuine, hard filly who always gives her best.

“They have had a lot of rain over there. If they have it down as heavy, it will be like the Channel. But she has got to taker her chance – this has been the target for a very long time.

“She won the Lowther in style and she’s a lovely big filly. We hope that it is only a matter of time before she lands a big one.

“The trip is not guaranteed, but we are hopeful. She does show a lot of speed, but she never showed any indication of stopping. She was still galloping at the finish and staying on well.

“We lost a shoe at Newmarket, we think about the time they went by her, so we might just have a little bit more in hand – it must have affected her in some way.”

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