Without a doubt the best racing of the weekend is at Deauville. A series of top quality group races that culminates in Sundays Group 1 Jacques Le Marois. With the introduction of the UKs Quarantine for travel to France, the entry and more importantly the jockey bookings for the British trained runners may change at short notice, but the quality of the entries should hold up.
Saturdays feature race is the Group 2 Prix Guillaume D’ornano Stakes at 135. Mishriff, winner of the Prix Du Jockey Club last month, returns to France for John Gosden, seeking to land another major prize. Having held off Volkan Star to win the Listed Newmarket Stakes, he then stepped up to win the Prix Du Jockey Club by 2 lengths from The Summit, who reposes here. Both had a good trip in the Jockey Club and given this smaller field I don’t see any reason for that form to be reversed by The Summit.
By contrast, VICTOR LUDORUM had a nightmare trip in the French Derby. Drawn on the inside, he was slightly slowly away and was caught in rear. Having been switched wide on the bend he was forced to come around the field and in truth did well to finish 3rd, beaten 2 lengths by Mishriff. With a smaller field, he is not likely to meet the same issues. His win in the French 2,000 Guineas in June was very impressive and I don’t subscribe to the theory that he did not stay in the Prix Du Jockey Club, as I think he had to travel at least 150 yards than the winner. In a smaller field, I think Victor Ludorum should have the class to reverse this form.
The field of 5 is completed by Dream Works, who steps up in class having won a Listed race at Paris Longchamp last time. He is the most unexposed in the field, on just his 4th start, but would probably need to found another 15lbs of improvement to trouble the principles. Last of the 5 is Crossfirehurricane for Joseph O’Brien, who is on a retrieval mission after a poor run in the Irish Derby. Whilst the drop to 10 furlongs should help, there is a sense that he might be slightly below the top level and the forecast soft ground is unlikely to aid his chance.
One other horse to note on Saturday, is Sottsass. Last year’s Prix Du Jockey Club winner is on course for another short at the Arc in October, where he was 3rd to Waldgeist and Enable last year. His win last time out in the Prix Ganay has worked out well and he is almost unopposable in Saturdays Group 3 Prix Gontaut-Biron. This race is another stepping stone on the route to Paris Longchamp in October, where he would surely have a chance of making the frame, especially if the ground is soft or heavy as it was last year.