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Horse Racing Tips: Keith Melrose's Longchamp tips

While not as glitzy as Sunday's card headlined by the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, there are still two Group 1s and three Group 2s at Longchamp on Saturday and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post provides his best bets on the card.

1.33 Longchamp

Verry Elleegant @ 1/1
1pt win

3.25 Longchamp

Quickthorn @ 1/1
1pt win

4.00 Longchamp

Grocer Jack @ 1/1
1pt win

Star mare to shine in Royallieu

There has been plenty of controversy around Very Elleegant this week, but the final word is that connections chose to take her out of the Arc and run her in the much weaker Prix de Royallieu instead. She should be a warm order for her new target.

Remember that this is a nine-time Group 1 winner who took last year's Melbourne Cup by a scarcely believable margin.

The move to Europe and Francis-Henri Graffard was made with the Arc specifically in mind and her quiet build-up to this point can be taken as less of a sign of time catching up with a seven-year-old, more a traditional French approach to one major target.

That the big day has come 24 hours earlier is no big deal, as is the fact it will be over a slightly longer trip.

On her Melbourne Cup win, Verry Elleegant has 12lb in hand on the field on Racing Post Ratings. Taking just her form from 2022, she has a 6lb cushion and even on her runs for Graffard, she is the one to beat.

A personal best for her new stable is almost for certain and Very Elleegant can have the Longchamp victory for which she was brought to Europe, even if it is in the 'wrong' race.

Morrison and Marquand can halt Kyprios's march

There has been no stopping Kyprios this season in the staying division. He has won the Gold Cup at Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger.

The Prix du Cadran is next on his list as he bids for a Group 1 four-timer, but the sort of emphasis on a turn of foot that French races can provide may not work to his advantage and if there is a race in which he is vulnerable, it could be this one.

It would be unwise to take on Kyprios with any old stayer, but in Quickthorn he faces a solid rival with little to find on form. Quickthorn has already come to Longchamp and won, convincingly at Group 2 level in July. He then put up a Group 1-class performance when beating Coltrane by 14 lengths in the Lonsdale Cup at York last time.

Quickthorn tends to set off hard and that was a major part of the reason he won by so far last time.

Ryan Moore will need to have his wits about him on Kyprios, while Tom Marquand has the freedom to do as he pleases on Quickthorn.

He is probably not as able a horse as Kyprios, but holds a stronger hand in the Cadran than the odds might imply.

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Horse Racing Tips - Racing: Keith Melrose's Longchamp tips

Green up on Grocer Jack

If you were to watch the last couple of furlongs of their most recent meeting in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes, it would be hard to envisage Grocer Jack turning the tables on Anmaat in the Prix Dollar.

But the talented Grocer Jack paid for early exuberance and the same was true when he was narrowly beaten at Windsor the time after. Ryan Moore is not a huge step up on Marquand, both are top-drawer riders.

However, Moore's greater experience could prove to be what Grocer Jack needs to keep him in step.

If Moore can harness him, Grocer Jack's wide-margin win at Newbury in July offers a clue of what he could offer.

It is felt that William Haggas still hasn't got to the bottom of this enthusiastic five-year-old and the day it clicks he should have the ability to put up the sort of performance needed to land this Group 2, which Haggas won last year with Dubai Honour.

By Keith Melrose

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