Brametot out to foil O'Brien in French Derby

Pic: AFP

Aidan O'Brien sends over the potentially smart War Decree in a three-pronged assault on the French Derby, one of the few showcase races he has yet to win, on Sunday.

O'Brien has already snapped up the English and Irish Guineas this year, and sent out Rhododendron to take second in Friday's storm-hit Epsom Oaks.

He may well travel to Chantilly with one Derby trophy already in his suitcase, as the all-conquering Irish trainer saddles no fewer than six runners in the Epsom blue riband on Saturday.

War Decree, who is joined by stablemates Orderofthegarter and Taj Mahal, arrives in France with live credentials.

Ryan Moore's mount was a convincing winner of his third outing as a two-year-old last season, a Group Two at Glorious Goodwood.

Sent off favourite for his three-year-old bow in the Craven Stakes in April, he ran out of puff to finish sixth, and should pose a far more serious threat in the Prix du Jockey-Club.

Nowadays run over a mile and two and a half furlongs rather than the traditional Derby trip of a mile and a half, War Decree will be well suited to this distance.

But the same is also true of Brametot, who represents Jean-Claude Rouget's powerful domestic stable.

Rouget won the French classic last year with Almanzor having opened his Jockey-Club account with Le Havre in 2009.

Brametot, who has drawn the number one stall, looks well up to the standard of those two winners.

He was an eye-catching short head winner of the French 2,000 Guineas, the fifth win from six starts, at Deauville on soft ground.

That earned him a sky high rating from the French handicapper.

"He has an outstanding pedigree and I think he is a right horse for the Jockey Club," Rouget said after that run.

Brametot is trying to become the third horse to do the French 2,000 Guineas-Jockey-Club double.

Third that day and seeking to turn the tables is Rivet, trained in England by William Haggas.

Rivet is part owned by a certain Lester Piggott, now 81 and arguably the greatest Flat jockey of all time.

Piggott won the Prix du Jockey-Club aboard Hard To Beat 45 years ago.

Rivet's jockey Frankie Dettori has already enjoyed classic success this weekend after the Italian saw off Rhodedendron in Friday's Oaks on Enable.

No preview of France's premier classic would be complete without mention of Andre Fabre, the master French trainer who sends out a team of three to secure a fifth Jockey-Club.

The pick of Fabre's 2017 crop could be the recent Godolphin-purchase Soleil Marin, who booked his place in the line-up with a narrow, battling success in one of the traditional warm-ups, the Prix Noailles, at Chantilly in April.

The French Derby is due off at 1415 GMT.