2017 Prix de Diane
The main market leaders in this year’s Prix de Diane look to be the English and Irish raiders, Shutter Speed and Rhododendron, at least with the UK bookies but maybe not on the other side of the Channel.
Rhododendron comes in to this race as the highest rated, thanks to second place finishes in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Epsom Oaks. Aiden O’Brien has yet to win either this race or the French Derby but Rhododendron must be one of the best horses he has sent over. She has a great record, in 7 runs to date she has never finished unplaced, winning 3 times and a group 2 winner.
John Gosden won the 2015 edition of this race with Star of Seville and Shutter Speed looks well up to winning this level, especially on her Dubai Duty Free form, where she beat the Oaks winner Enable in to third.
With the John Gosden trained Shutter Speed put up at a best priced 15/8 and Aiden O’Brien’s Rhododendron a best priced 2/1, it opens the way for some nice priced selections on the rest of the field.
One of the biggest pointers to finding the winner of this race is to stick to undefeated horses, even lightly raced fillies with little experience. Shutter Speed is undefeated in 3 runs and Freddy Head’s Terrakova with only 2 runs fall in to this category. Both are unexposed and have only won up to group 3 level.
Terrakova may go off the favourite on the PMU, but is available at 6/1 with Bet Victor. Terrakova is by Galileo, out of the 3-times Breeders Cup winner Goldikova. She has won her 2 races to date fairly easily, but this will be a big step up in class, but this fits the profile of previous winners.
A horse at a big price that could also go close is Vue Fantastique, she is currently priced at 40/1 with the UK bookies. She doesn’t fit the profile of a Prix de Diane winner and she is also still a maiden in 4 career starts but comes in here the highest rated of the French runners. She finished 2nd in the Prix Saint-Alary, a key trial for this race, showing improved form to reverse placings against horses that had previously beaten her in Lady Frankel and Gold Luck.
Vue Fantastique likes to race forward which will help in this field of 16 around Chantilly and while it’s a big ask for her to win it; she could sneak in to a place and is certainly worth backing at 40/1 eachway.
Terrakova, 6/1 Bet Victor
Vue Fantastique, 40/1 generally available