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Chaldean Drops Back in Trip for Prix Jean Prat

In the brief history of this race being run over a straight seven furlongs, the Prix Jean Prat (G1) has become a popular staging post for group 1-level milers dropping back in trip, with Too Darn Hot  and Pinatubo  both placed in the St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) and last year’s winner Tenebrism  stepping up on her effort when fourth in the Coronation Stakes (G1).

Whether you consider that sufficient data to be dogmatic about the likely outcome of this year’s race or not, the prototype in the early years of the new format fits perfectly for Chaldean , who exceeded his predecessors’ efforts by winning the Two Thousand Guineas (G1), and who, like those three before him, was a group 1 winner at 2. 

Denied the services of Frankie Dettori, who is serving a nine-day ban for causing interference at Royal Ascot, Chaldean will be the responsibility of Andrew Balding’s longtime ally Oisin Murphy. 

Further historic ammunition is given to Chaldean’s chances when you consider Balding managed to win a July Cup over six furlongs with the previous year’s Coronation Stakes (G1) and Sussex Stakes (G1) heroine Alcohol Free 

Murphy was aboard Hi Royal  when he ran a huge race to be second to Chaldean in the Guineas despite becoming unbalanced into the Dip. His third to Paddington  in the Irish version showed that was no fluke—although RPRs had his effort 2 lbs. behind his Newmarket run he did get squeezed up on the rail late on—and a flat straight seven might be even more of a help to him than to Chaldean.

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Meditate  looks to replicate stablemate Tenebrism’s winning effort here 12 months ago and it is easy to make a case that her last furlong was her weakest in the Coronation Stakes last time. 

Others to be dropping back from group 1 assignments at a mile are Charyn  and Indestructible —third and fifth respectively in the St James’s Palace—while Breizh Sky  has already shown his adaptability, adding a win in the Prix Paul de Moussac (G3) over seven furlongs at Longchamp to his third place over a mile in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (G1). 

Owner Nurlan Bizakov is doubly represented, with Charyn joined by last season’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) winner Belbek , who should strip fitter than when back in the ruck behind Breizh Sky last time. 

Law Of Indices is the outlier among the four previous winners of this race at today’s trip in that he was stepping up in trip from six furlongs. If raw speed does become the deciding factor then Shouldvebeenaring  could enter calculations, having progressed from handicap company in the spring to run creditably in both the Sandy Lane Stakes (G2) and the Commonweath Cup (G1). 

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