sport

Strong entry for French Guineas

A strong English and Irish contingent have been confirmed for the French 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Longchamp this weekend.

Aidan O'Brien's Giovanni Boldini and the John Gosden-trained Muwaary feature among 14 horses declared for the French 2000 Guineas.

O'Brien has trained Landseer (2002), Aussie Rules (2006) and Astronomer Royal (2007) to win the Poule d'Essai des Poulains since the turn of the century, with Astronomer Royal the last Irish or British-trained runner to prevail.

Giovanni Boldini was narrowly beaten in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and was last seen finishing fourth in the UAE Derby at Meydan.

Muwaary is unbeaten in two starts for Gosden, making a winning debut in a Newbury maiden last summer and scoring in handicap company on his return to action at the same track last month.

He is joined on the trip from Britain by Marco Botti's Greenham Stakes fourth Lat Hawill and Andrew Balding's Esher Cup runner-up End Of Line.

The home team includes Jean-Claude Rouget-trained pair Kiram and Salai, Andre Fabre's Decathlete and Jonathan Pease's Karakontie.

A total of 16 fillies are set to go to post for the French 1000 Guineas, the Poule D'Essai des Pouliches.

Heading the raiding party is Brian Meehan's Fred Darling winner J Wonder and she will be reopposed by Botti's Al Thakhira, beaten just a head in the Newbury trial.

Nell Gwyn Stakes fifth Queen Catrine represents Charlie Hills, Rae Guest sends Bosra Sham Stakes winner Cape Factor across the Channel and O'Brien's sole runner is Wonderfully, who showed smart form as a juvenile.

Alain de Royer-Dupre has both Mintaka and Veda in contention, while Lesstalk In Paris and Avenir Certain are major players for Rouget.

The all-important draw for both races will take place on Friday.