Surfing The Sand

The All-Weather Championships spotlight falls on France on Thursday with the Listed Prix Lyphard at Deauville - a Fast Track Qualifier for the Middle Distance Championship, the £200,000 Easter Classic, at Lingfield Park on Good Friday. Preview: Simon Mapletoft.

  • Tuesday 26 November
  • Blog
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Simon Crisford side-stepped a Listed Fast Track Qualifier at Lingfield Park earlier this month with CENTURY DREAM but has his sights set on France’s equivalent on Thursday instead.

The five-year-old, who was among the entries for the Churchill Stakes but wasn’t declared, can guarantee himself a place in the £200,000 Middle Distance Final on Good Friday - the Easter Classic - with victory in the Prix Lyphard (12.50) at Deauville.

Winner of the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom last year, Century Dream travelled beautifully in heavy conditions at Newmarket earlier this month before finding the improving Roseman too good in the Listed Ben Marshall Stakes at Newmarket.

Despite his liking for easy ground on turf, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be effective over 9.5f on the Polytrack and should be at least be at his sharpest after two comeback runs.

Century Dream - the mount of France’s jockey-of-the-moment Pierre-Charles Boudot - boasts a solid record at Pattern level and may have the edge over Andre Fabre’s Folamour.

A lightly-raced son of Intello who has been highly tried on turf this season, the four-year-old hasn’t been seen in public since finishing a creditable fourth in a Group 2 at Chantilly in June.

Smart enough to finish in the mix behind Kew Gardens and Dee Ex Bee in last year’s Grand Prix de Paris, he lacks All-Weather experience on his return from a five-month lay-off.

Folamour shouldn’t have an issue with the surface over a perfect trip and proved he can go well fresh when returning from a six-month absence to win a Listed race at St Cloud in March, but Century Dream has the credentials to take his measure.

Another top British trainer William Haggas runs Nkosikazi, while Jane Chapple-Hyam completes the raiding party with Dalgarno.

Nkosikazi - the mount of Tom Marquand - proved she can cut the mustard at this level when third in the 1m5f Listed River Eden Stakes at Lingfield last month but this is much deeper and she may lack the tactical speed back at this trip.

Dalgarno, like Haggas’s filly, has a mountain to climb on official ratings and is yet to prove himself against this calibration of opposition but the presence of Stephane Pasquier in the saddle has to be a plus.

Germany are represented by Andreas Wohler’s course and distance winner Rolando who has won at this level, taking a soft ground event at Compiegne in the summer, and warrants respect after splitting winner Trais Fluors and 2018 Mile Champion Lucky Team in this race last year.

For France, Roc Angel, who was a distant fourth to Matterhorn in last season’s Classic, is set to return from a three-month break but his record at this level suggests he is once again likely to come up short in a good renewal.

Pump Pump Palace completed a hat-trick on synthetics, including a Listed win at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, and may fare better. The six-year-old entire has no secrets but had Roc Angel behind at the coastal track on the occasion and is a reliable yardstick at this level.

Surfing The Sand
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