ParisLongchamp preview: Pao Alto attempts to follow in hoofprints of Shaman

Wed 13 May 2020

Pao Alto will try to follow in the hoofprints of Shaman at ParisLongchamp on Thursday as he goes for glory in the Group Three Prix la Force.

Shaman won the race last year for owners the Wertheimer brothers and Pao Alto will carry the same colours as he teams up with Maxime Guyon in the nine-furlong Classic trial.

The Christophe Ferland-trained colt won two of his three juvenile starts, culminating with a Listed success in October and Pierre-Yves Bureau is eager to see the son of Intello back in action.

He said: “This is the race we won with Shaman last year and we are looking forward to seeing him back on the track. We were very happy with him last year as a two-year-old, he won very nicely in Longchamp and won his Listed race in Bordeaux.

“Like a lot of Intellos I think he is going to improve with time and age, but it looks a strong field with Group One winner Mkfancy and some winners who have been quite impressive. There is Another Sky and Mr Fabre’s horse (Ocean Atlantique).

“It will be a good test, but Christophe is happy with the horse and he is ready. It is going to be very interesting, but I think with less races, fields are going to be strong in all races this year.

“We will wait to see how he runs, but the plan is to go for the Prix du Jockey Club if he is good enough.”

Pao Alto was due to run in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud at the end of last year, but was a late absentee.

Bureau added: “His blood test was not perfect a few days before the race, the horse was doing well but the blood tests were not perfect so we thought it would be safer not to run him, to respect him thinking he would be a better three-year-old.”

Mkfancy eventually claimed the Saint-Cloud Group One for Pia Brandt and he lines up here after being beaten in a Listed race on his return in March.

Fabre’s Ocean Atlantique was an eight-length winner of a Saint-Cloud maiden on his second outing last term while Freddy Head’s Another Sky – who is a half-brother to Almanzor – won at Chantilly in March.

Nat King and Chachnak complete the six-strong field.

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