France: Prix de Diane favourite Raabihah is set for another outing before contesting the French Oaks at Chantilly on Sunday July 5.
Sheikh Hamdan’s unbeaten daughter of Sea The Stars rocketed up British bookmakers’ ante-post betting for the Classic with an explosive four-length victory last week in a Listed race at ParisLongchamp for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.
On her only previous outing, Raabihah scored easily on the all-weather at Cagnes-sur-Mer in January.
“She has come out of the Prix de la Seine in fine shape and gives the impression she hardly had a race,” said Rouget, who is eyeing the G3 Prix Cleopatre, rescheduled owing to the Paris shutdown from Saint-Cloud to Lyon-Parilly on June 6 over the Diane distance of 2,100 metres (1m2½f).
Speaking on a Shadwell media release, he explained: “At the moment, I am perhaps leaning toward the Prix Cleopatre for her next run, as that gives a bit more recovery time ahead of the Diane, but that is not for certain.”
Sheikh Hamdan’s famous blue-and-white silks have never been carried to success in the Prix de Diane.
Raabihah heads a group of highly promising Shadwell three-year-olds under Rouget’s care, including Tawkeel, who extended her record to three-for-three on May 24 at Deauville.
“She was very backward and she first began to show something over the winter,” Rouget said. “It was a very nice performance when she won on debut. For those horses that don’t make it to the track at two, Cagnes offers a chance to make up for time with a view to the season ahead.
“In any case, she is among my best fillies,” Rouget added. “It’s great because I’ve been training for Sheikh Hamdan for a fair few years now.”
Prix de Diane betting
Coral: 5 Raabihah, Simeen, 12 Dream And Do, Emoji, Magic Attitude, 14 Bonne Idee, Tickle Me Green, 16 bar.