Wootton heads Classic hopefuls on trial at Longchamp


Unbeaten colt Wootton kicks off his three-year-old campaign in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau, one of three Classic trials at Longchamp, France, on Sunday, 15 April.

Wootton (Henri-Alex Pantall/Mickael Barzalona) ranked highly among Europe’s top juveniles last year following two imperious wins over a mile at Deauville, having scored by six lengths on debut in August and stormed to a five-length victory in the Listed Prix Isonomy in October.

He is joined in the mile contest by Mind Mapping (Andre Fabre/Pierre-Charles Boudot), a Medaglia d’Oro colt who also makes his seasonal return following a pair of two-year-old starts that included a decisive success in a mile maiden at Saint-Cloud in November.

A field of five for the Prix de Fontainebleau also features G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere runner-up Olmedo and Irish G2 scorer Rostropovich.

Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin said: “The winter hasn’t been particularly kind to trainers and Wootton’s preparation has been slightly interrupted, but he appears to be in very good form and ready to make his first start of the season.

“He is a horse that we think a lot of and he has plenty of quality. He’s not the flashiest at home, so it is hard to go into a race like this with a great deal of confidence, but he is as well as he can be.

“Mind Mapping is another three-year-old that we hope will make a nice colt this year. He is having his first start of the year but appears to handle testing ground well.

“So far, he looks to have a lot of potential and this will tell us where to go for the rest of the season.”

Musis Amica (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) steps up to G3 level for the mile Prix de la Grotte.

The daughter of Dawn Approach stayed on strongly for a comfortable victory on her only previous start in a Saint-Cloud maiden over half a furlong shorter in November.

She tackles seven other three-year-old fillies, including G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes runner-up Magical and G1 Prix Marcel Boussac third Mission Impassible.

Lisa-Jane Graffard added: “Musis Amica won her maiden nicely last year and possesses a great attitude.

“She has been working well enough at home, but she is taking a huge step up in class against some pretty smart fillies.

“This is a fact-finding mission to find out where the rest of her season lies.” Three-year-old colt Gyllen (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona), a winner of three of his four starts, also makes his G3 debut in the Prix Noailles over an extended mile and a quarter.

The latest two of the Medaglia d’Oro colt’s victories have come over the same distance, most recently when quickening well from the rear to take Listed Prix Francois Mathet at Saint-Cloud on 27 March.

Eight runners for the Prix Noailles include G3 Eyrefield Stakes winner Flag of Honour and Young Fire, who is unbeaten in two outings.

Lisa-Jane Graffard commented: “Gyllen has the benefit of having run twice already this year.

“He is a very honest horse, who tries his best, and stays well in this ground.

“You would have to be fearful of some of the opposition, but he should run another good race.”