Bell plots Pollyanna's return to Deauville

Prix Maurice de Gheest is next Group One target

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Pretty Pollyanna will bid for a second Group One victory at Deauville next month in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.

Michael Bell’s filly claimed top-level honours in the Prix Morny at the Normandy circuit last summer – and while she is so far winless as a three-year-old, she has performed well enough to suggest there are further big-race victories in her.

The daughter of Oasis Dream emerged with plenty of credit when runner-up in the Irish 1,000 Guineas on her seasonal reappearance – and although she then finished down the field in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, she bounced back to be fourth in last weekend’s July Cup at Newmarket.

Bell said: “It was a very good run in the July Cup, and the plan is the Maurice de Gheest. She obviously likes Deauville, and that is the plan as we stand.

“The unfortunate thing in the July Cup was that she missed the break so badly. That didn’t help – and although I’m not saying she would have beaten the winner, she would have been two or three lengths closer.

“Without a doubt, she has trained on. You don’t finish second in an Irish 1,000 Guineas and fourth in a July Cup if you haven’t trained on.”

The Newmarket handler is eyeing York redemption for Eagles By Day, who was a disappointing favourite for the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on his latest outing.

“It was in the public domain that he broke a blood vessel,” said Bell.

“We actually scoped him on Saturday morning for the first time since, after doing two strong canters, and he was clear.

“I hope it was a one-off, due to the heat. It was very thundery that day and oppressive.

“The Great Voltigeur (August 21) would be the plan for him now. I hope he will still be a St Leger horse, but the Voltigeur will tell us.”

Bell also provided an update on Maxi Boy, who is set to have his sights slightly lowered after finishing third in the Group Two Superlative Stakes.

“He could run in the Winkfield Stakes at Ascot on Saturday,” he said.

“We will see what it looks like, but he worked on Saturday and seems in good form.

“It was another good run, and he is an improving horse.”

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