Dee Ex Bee seeks Group One strike in Grand Prix de Paris

    Mark Johnston’s runner one of six contenders for ParisLongchamp highlight
  • Friday 13 July 2018
  • News

Dee Ex Bee goes on a revenge mission to France on Saturday when he lines up for the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at ParisLongchamp.

Not only will he try to gain Group One glory after finishing second in the Investec Derby at Epsom, Dee Ex Bee will also bid to avenge the agonising defeat of Permian in this race last year when it was staged at Saint-Cloud.

Dee Ex Bee goes into the race on the back of a disappointing run in the Irish Derby, but connections of the Mark Johnston-trained colt felt conditions were too quick for him that day.

With the ground expected to be more suitable in Paris, hopes are high Dee Ex Bee can gain just reward.

“He’s absolutely fine. Obviously after Ireland just two weeks ago this race comes fairly soon, but once we saw the field starting to cut up, it looked too good an opportunity to miss,” said Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father.

“The horse came out of Ireland well and we’re looking forward to it. He should have a very strong chance.

“It will be interesting to see exactly what the ground is like when we get over there. They were telling us at declaration stage on Thursday it was good to soft, so they must have watered plenty. We’ll just have to see what it’s like when we get there.

“We had the option to run in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday, but the presumption that the ground will be slightly easier in France was definitely a deciding factor.

“He’s fine on top of the ground, but when it gets very firm like it did in Ireland, that just doesn’t quite play to his strengths. As long as it’s good ground, we’ll be happy with that.

“If he runs to the level of his Epsom run, he should win. We are very hopeful.”

Johnston sees the Aidan O’Brien-trained Kew Gardens, winner of the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, as the main threat to Dee Ex Bee.

“Kew Gardens looks to be the obvious danger on the back of his Ascot run, but he was a long way behind us at Epsom,” he said.

“We were beaten the shortest of short noses in the race last year when Permian got touched off. Hopefully we are going back this year to get some revenge.”

O’Brien also runs Nelson, who was third behind his stable companion in the Queen’s Vase.

Joseph O’Brien is represented by Downdraft, who was sixth to the Johnston-trained Baghdad in the King George V Handicap at the Royal meeting.

Folamour will attempt to give Andre Fabre a remarkable 14th success in this race, while Pia Brandt’s Neufbosc completes the list of six runners chasing the £300,000 first prize.

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