Weekend Review 23rd August
Deauville once again played host to an important weekend of racing. The track itself is holding up relatively well, though the changeable summer weather and almost constant racing is starting to take its toll. However, we have seen some serious talent on display in the last few weeks and it has also allowed us to gauge how certain horses handle the softer conditions, which will be very useful as we head into the autumn campaign.
Top of my list going into this weekend was Tawkeel, unbeaten now in 5 starts, she has proved herself already this summer at the top level by winning the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary. That form looked very strong and she duly took this Saturdays Prix De La Nonette to add to her impressive CV. This was by some way her best performance, as she battled well in the home straight to hold off the challenge of Tickle Me Green, who herself looks a different horse for the switch to the Graffard stable. This form is rock solid and the impressive way that Tawkeel was able to quicken in the home straight after she was headed by Tickle Me Green has shown that she has all the battling qualities needed to dominate this division. Right now, Tawkeel would look to be the best middle distance horse trained in France and she should be able to dominate at 10-furlongs this season
This years renewal of the Prix Morny looked strong on paper. 3 Royal Ascot winners in the line up made for an intriguing contest. The winner, Campanelle, was very impressive, making most of the running and puling clear as they passed the 200 pole. Wesley Wards daughter of Kodiac is very good, she handled the ground and at this stage of 2020 is probably the best 2-year-old we have seen. However, what this race has shown to me, is that this years Juveniles are below average. I have said on a previous post that I do not believe that we have seen any superstars in the French ranks and this race did nothing to change my mind, with Acapulco Gold (4th) the best of the French runners. The truncated season hasn’t helped, but Campanelle apart it is hard to see where next year’s Classic generation is going to come from at this stage.
CALL THE WIND
The best performance on Sundays card came from Call the Wind. At the age of 6 it is hard to call him an improver, but what he has found in 2020 is consistency. With the exception of an unlucky 2nd to San Huberto in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier, he has been flawless. Sundays win in the Group 2 Darley Prix Kergorlay was a career best to my eyes. While he was aided by the strong pace set by Collide, Call the Wind travelled superbly well on the bridle and came away from a good field without ever being fully extended. With Ashrun in 2nd, the form has a solid look to it and at this stage, I would make him my banker of the Arc weekend in October when he should take the Prix Du Cadran.