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Thursday 14 December 2017

Kissed heads O'Brien's hopes for Chantilly raid

KISSED, a late withdrawal from the Investec Oaks, is among four Aidan O'Brien possibles for the Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly on Sunday.

O'Brien took the unbeaten daughter of Galileo out at Epsom because of the drying ground, yet still went on to win the fillies' Classic with Was.

The Ballydoyle trainer has also left in Twirl, who was only 11th at Epsom, plus French 1000 Guineas second Up, as well as Wonderful, at the latest forfeit stage for the French equivalent of the Oaks.

Another Irish-trained possible is Princess Highway, trained by Dermot Weld.

Was was back in third when Princess won the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas, but Weld's filly has an alternative entry in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

"She's a lovely progressive filly. It was a fair performance at Naas and it got a fair boost in the Oaks from Was," her jockey Pat Smullen said. "Obviously, Was improved from that run, but Princess Highway has done everything we've asked her.

"She's been progressive all year.

"She's a big rangy filly. She's not an extravagant worker but she seems very well."

The Mick Channon-trained Samitar, winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas, and David Simcock's Palmyra, are the two English-trained entries left in the Chantilly showpiece.

Samitar, however, is expected to go for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday week.

The home contingent is led by Beauty Parlour, winner of the French 1000 Guineas.

She stands her ground, along with her Elie Lellouche stablemate Best Of All, among a total of 18 fillies remaining.

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