Below you will find a copy of the ratings and time comparisons for all of the races on the PSF track at Deauville this weekend. If you have been regularly reading these updates you will know that I have been highlighting the issue with the course being described as slow, when the times don't support that at all. It is still the case, as the staying handicaps on Sundays card proved when they ran an above average time figure despite being relatively low grade affairs. With that regular comment out of the way this is perhaps the first time since I began to write these Ratings pieces that we have had some top class racing on the PSF to discuss. We had a pair of all age handicaps over 1,900 meters this weekend and both of them produced fast times and above average performances. I'll start with the Class 2 race on Saturday that was won by Great Rotation. This was just his 2nd win in 24 career starts, but all of his best form has been on an artificial surface and he pulled 4-lengths clear of the rest in the closing stages. Siyouni has a superb record on the PSF in France, a fact that I have highlighted before and even though Great Rotation has been hit with a hefty 4.5-kilo rise in the weights for this win, he will still be on my radar for next time if he reappears on the All-Weather. He actually ran a faster time than the Class 1 contest won by Eliyass the following day, producing a rating of 106, so I wouldn't be too concerned about the higher mark he will have to run off next time as on this evidence he should be able to hold his own.
Sundays Grand Handicap looked like a superb race on paper and so it proved. I have put a link to the form below, but having watched it several times I think that there will be several winners to come out of this in the coming weeks and it may well prove to be a piece of form worth following. Eliyass has been carefully campaigned this season but he has now won 5 of his last 6 starts and looks likely to take the step up into Pattern company after this. He improved again to win here and had all of the right horses in behind but it was the Aga Khan's other runner, Behtar who caught the eye most of all. He was dropped in by Maxime Guyon and made good late headway under a hands ride, essentially because the necessary gaps did not appear in time and he appeared to finish full of running in a a never nearer 6th. Without being able to fully extend himself when cramped for racing room, the sectionals show that he was still able to match the principles in the closing stages and with better luck in running next time, he must surely go close from an unchanged mark.