Past Winners » Wooded


You would love to see Make A Challenge winning the Abbaye, and five furlongs on soft ground is just what he wants.  And he should get closer to Glass Slippers today than he did in the Flying Five at The Curragh last time, when he was drawn on the near side and had to do his racing away from where the race developed.  Also, the ground was good that day.  He should be happier today on soft ground.

But he is short and he is drawn in stall 11, which is not ideal at Longchamp over five furlongs, especially on soft ground.  In last year’s Abbaye, the first seven home came from seven of the eight lowest stalls.

Glass Slippers is very short, and she is drawn in 10, which increases the difficulty of her bid to become the first dual Abbaye winner since Lochsong.

I am backing Keep Busy and Wooded.  Keep Busy got to within a half a length of Glass Slippers in the Flying Five last time.  She has had plenty of racing, but she is still only three, she has the potential to continue her progression as a sprinter, and that run at The Curragh was a career-best.

She goes well on soft ground, she is well-drawn in stall six, and the recent profile of Abbaye winners is a positive.  Three-year-olds have won three of the last four renewals, and fillies have won three of the last four, and three-year-old fillies have won two of the last four.  Also, Ryan Moore, who rode her for the first time last time at The Curragh, rides her again.

Wooded is also a three-year-old with lots of potential upside as a sprinter.  He has raced just eight times in his life, and he has raced just once over the minimum trip.  That was last time at Longchamp, in the Prix du Petit Couvert, when he finished a good second to Air De Valse, beaten three parts of a length.

He missed the break a bit that day, and he was playing catch-up thereafter.  He had to switch to challenge and, while it never really looked like he was going to get to the winner, he ran her close all the way to the line.

He should be sharper today, he should have a better idea of what sprinting is all about, and that could take him close.  He is well drawn in stall two and, while he was withdrawn from the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot this year partly because of the ground, he did run well on very soft ground at Saint-Cloud last year, and he won a Group 3 race in May this year at Chantilly on good to soft ground.  Also, the testing ground should place an emphasis on stamina over the minimum trip, and that should suit Francis-Henri Graffard’s colt, who has won over six furlongs and seven furlongs.

WOODED WON (ADV 10/1, SP 13/2)