Godolphin are aiming for a French Guineas double with their Andre Fabre-trained Philomene and Parchemin at Longchamp on Sunday.
The Dubawi filly Philomene, undefeated in two career starts, is one of 14 runners in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches while Parchemin goes in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains, both under Mickael Barzalona.
Philomene drops back to a mile after a hugely impressive victory over an extended 10 furlongs in the Group 3 Prix Penelope at Saint Cloud in early April.
She scored over track and trip on her only juvenile appearance in September as she overcame signs of inexperience to beat subsequent Group 1 runner-up Tasmania by a short-neck.
“Philomene is a very straightforward filly, who has enjoyed an uninterrupted preparation,” Godolphin's Lisa-Jane Graffard told godolphin.com.
“Dropping her back in trip came under discussion very quickly after the Prix Penelope and Andre felt this race worked best for her timing-wise.
“She is a filly with a lot of class and Andre has very few worries about the trip. It’s obviously unusual to drop back in distance from a prep-race to the Pouliches, but it has been done before and he felt that it was the right thing to do.
“This is very much a springboard for the Prix de Diane but we are hopeful that she can run very well.”
Parchemin bids to provide Godolphin and Fabre with a third consecutive success in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains following Persian King (2019) and Victor Ludorum (2020).
The Lope de Vega colt was a close fifth over the same course and trip in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau – a race in which Persian King and Victor Ludorum also ran – and won on heavy ground on both his two-year-old starts, including Deauville’s Listed Prix Isonomy.
“We hoped that Parchemin would have run slightly better in the Prix de Fontainebleau but he ran well enough, all things considered,” Graffard added.
“The ground was possibly a bit quick that day but the first two home (Policy Of Truth and Sealiway) look very strong contenders here again.”
“He is a really lovely horse with a great temperament and a real standout physically. We have seen horses turn around the form between the trial and the Classic itself, and we are optimistic that Parchemin can improve on his seasonal return.”
The French Guineas meeting also includes the opening European leg of the UAE President’s Cup for Purebred Arabians.
The 28th World Series for Arabians consists of 15 races across the world and kicks off with the $100,000 Grade 1 race at the 146th Preakness meeting at the Pimlico racecourse in Baltimore, USA.