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Monarch can reign in Paris

JUST as Aidan O'Brien has dominated so many Group One races in Ireland, Andre Fabre has done the same in France and the Grand Prix de Paris is one of those races.

Fabre has won the Group One contest an incredible 11 times and is likely to have the Godolphin-owned Saint Baudolino in Saturday's renewal after his narrow defeat in the Prix du Jockey Club last month.

However, it is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Irish Derby absentee Imperial Monarch who currently tops the betting with Paddy Power, who are thus far the only firm in Ireland to price up the mile-and-a-half Group One for three-year-olds.

O'Brien won the race once before in 2005 when Scorpion was victorious under Kieren Fallon and now looks to have a strong claim for more top honours in France.

Only seven horses remained in the race following yesterday's latest forfeit stage and the 5/2 joint second favourite, along with Saint Baudolino, is Epsom Derby runner-up Main Sequence. David Lanigan's stable star hasn't been seen since following home Camelot in the Epsom Derby and has had this as his target ever since that fine effort.

The Group Three Derby Trial winner was the best of the rest at Epsom and finished five lengths adrift at the finish seeing off Astrology for second right on the line.

Meanwhile, Bated Breath has been proving easy to back with Boylesports, who have eased him out to 7/2 from 3/1 for Saturday's Group One July Cup.

The clear favourite remains at the head of the betting, but Roger Charlton's sprinter has been "friendless" according to Nicola McGeady of the firm.

Australian raider Ortensia has proved popular, while David Marnane's Dandy Boy is another who has come in for support despite severe reservations over the ground for the Royal Ascot winner.

McGeady said: "With severe weather forecasted around the UK, Bated Breath remains a doubtful runner so it's no surprise to see punters having their reservations about backing him early.

"Dandy Boy comes into this race in good form and given the fact that he was supplemented, punters feel he is worth chancing."

Domestically, Irish racing continues to suffer at the hands of the inclement weather conditions and Fairyhouse's rescheduled meeting from last week was lost due to an unraceable track yesterday.

There were no problems reported at either Naas or Wexford ahead of today's fixtures, however, with Wexford set to stage the rescheduling of the card they were forced to abandon last Friday.

The going at Naas remained heavy with a risk of some heavy showers for the eight-race card which yesterday morning inherited the Group Three Brownstown Stakes.

The race was due to be on at Fairyhouse yesterday, but the five-runner contest was switched after the demise of that meeting and O'Brien's After was the odds-on favourite this morning.