9.35 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, Sha Tin
Fay Fay did it the hard way when landing the Hong Kong Derby from stall 14 over the C&D and has to do it again from stall 12. He holds fourth placed Zaidan on that run and must be on the short-list though Sweet Orange, who had no luck in-running, has a perfect berth and might well start favourite. Thumbs Up has the edge on Pure Champion on their run here last time though he's usually beaten when stepped into this grade, a remark that also applies to Viscount Nelson, whose form at Meydan during the winter wouldn't be good enough for this. California Memory is also closely matched with Thumbs Up and doesn't look quite up to it but Treasure Beach certainly does. Last year's Irish Derby and Secretariat Stakes hero made a decent return to action at Meydan and though a wide draw is no help he has plenty of natural pace and it shouldn't pose a problem. Ryan Moore has picked up a good ride on Chinchon, whose overall form is just short of this though he'll appreciate the softish ground better than most. The Japan-trained RULERSHIP is a class-act who unusually for one from that country appears to prefer ground with some give. He's ideally drawn in the centre and his basic speed will be invaluable in the short straight so he gets the vote.
14.40 Prix Ganay, Longchamp
Wigmore Hall is class act on his day but it's hard to tell what Michael Bell's charge will make of the testing ground and he finished well behind CIRRUS DES AIGLES in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October anyway. The latter went on to win another Group 1 event in the Sheema Classic in Dubai last month and given today's surface is no problem, he's the one to beat in this. It was soft ground when Reliable Man won the French Derby at Chantilly last year though stablemate Giofra has a fitness advantage. Alain de Royer-Dupre's filly is progressing with every run and won the Group 2 Prix D' Harcourt in good style over C&D just three weeks ago with the re-opposing Saga Dream well off the pace. Pagera simply doesn't look good enough.