Pretty Pollyanna bids to prove her runaway victory at Newmarket was no fluke in a fascinating renewal of the Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday.
Michael Bell’s Yarmouth maiden winner shaped with plenty of promise when fifth in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, but even her trainer admitted to being taken aback by the ease of her seven-length demolition job in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at the July meeting.
The subsequent success of the runner-up Angel’s Hideaway gives the form credence and she is pitched in against the boys in France on Sunday.
“Taking on the colts is ambitious, but we’ve won it with a filly before in 1994 (Hoh Magic). Hopefully we can do it again,” Bell told At The Races.
“The plan was to go for the Albany after Yarmouth, so she had been showing plenty, but the Duchess of Cambridge performance definitely caught me on the hop.
“You don’t ask them at home to do that, the only time you want them to do anything like that is on the racecourse.”
Pretty Pollyanna spearheads a formidable squad of British and Irish challengers in the Group One feature.
Signora Cabello has won her last four starts for John Quinn including the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte.
Quinn said: “It’s another step up, but we’re very happy with her. She seems very well.
“We’ve always felt six furlongs would be well within her compass and she wasn’t stopping over five and a half furlongs last time.
“She’s done nothing wrong and we’re hoping for a big run.”
Karl Burke enjoyed a one-two in last year’s Prix Morny, with Unfortunately seeing off stablemate Havana Grey.
The North Yorkshire handler is once again double-handed, with Prix Robert Papin third True Mason joined by Comedy, who completed a hat-trick in a Group Three here three weeks ago.
Burke said: “True Mason ran well in the Papin and and I think he’ll strip fitter for that run and will improve for the step up to six furlongs.
“Comedy is improving all the time, she’s proved she stays six furlongs well and I’m looking forward to running her.
“They’ll both probably be big prices, but if they get there in the same condition they left the yard, I think they’ll both run big races.”
Aidan O’Brien’s Land Force and the Mark Johnston-trained Marie’s Diamond finished first and second respectively in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood and renew rivalry this weekend.
Marie’s Diamond carries the colours of Middleham Park Racing and the successful syndicate’s Mike Prince said: “He’s won a Group Three and finished a close second in a Group Two. We’re looking forward to it.
“We’re taking on Land Force again. I felt we were a bit unlucky at Goodwood as we were hampered at the start and didn’t get the run we wanted.
“I suppose Pretty Pollyanna looks the one to beat. She gets the fillies’ allowance and although there was a bit of carnage in behind her at Newmarket, she won really well in a good time.”
Mick Channon’s Kinks also makes the journey across the Channel, with Sexy Metro and Simply Striking – second and fifth respectively in the Papin – the two representatives for France.