Coronet is aiming to go one better in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud after her narrow defeat in the race 12 months ago.
John Gosden’s mare was beaten the shortest of short-heads by Waldgeist in the Group One showpiece last year – and she remains winless at the highest level, despite being placed on numerous occasions.
With time running out before her second career begins, Coronet’s connections sense Sunday’s race represents arguably her best chance of the season of gaining a Group One victory.
To do so, she will need to improve on her seasonal comeback at Newmarket – but she will have the assistance of man-of-the-moment Frankie Dettori, who rides her in preference to stablemate Lah Ti Dar.
“I imagine Frankie had the choice – he’s friendly with both sets of owners,” said Richard Evans, of Denford Stud, who own Coronet.
“We finished just in front of Lah Ti Dar at the end of last season, but the big question is ‘will Coronet bounce back from her last performance’?
“Frankie felt it was a falsely-run race at Newmarket, and we should just write it off. We’ll find out if it was this weekend, but it looks a very good race.
“She went very close in it last year, so fingers crossed.
“She certainly deserves a Group One. She’s come up against them all – Enable, Sea Of Class, Magical – but the closest she’s come was in this last year, and you’d have to think this might be her best chance again.”
Of the eight runners, five are trained in Britain – with Roger Charlton’s Aspetar returning to France after a good win in the Grand Prix de Chantilly last time out.
“He seems in good form – and having won a Group Two, it is the natural progression to let him take his chance in a Group One,” said Charlton.
“There are some decent horses in the race that are rated either the same or higher than him, so we’ll see how he gets on.”
Hughie Morrison’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Marmelo is on his travels once more, after finishing fifth in the Coronation Cup.
“Ideally he’d want softer ground, but his form is a little better on left-handed tracks or with long straights,” said Morrison.
“He ran a very good race in the (Prix Maurice de Nieuil) two years ago. He missed the break – because he was chatting up the girls in the stalls – but he nearly caught Talismanic, who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
“In the Caulfield Cup (12 furlongs) he ran a very good race on fast ground, so you can’t dismiss him over that trip – he’s got a turn of foot.
“Hopefully they are pouring on half the River Seine to prevent the ground getting too fast. All the Brits I know about are travelling out tomorrow night to avoid the heat of the day.
“We’re actually the top-rated horse, not taking into account the fillies’ allowance, but I would think Aspetar is the one to beat.”
Andre Fabre’s Morgan Le Faye arrives having won her last three races, but her trainer admits this is her toughest test of the season.
“This is a much tougher race than what she’s been winning, but the advantage is it is over further and she stays well,” said Fabre.
“Hopefully she can show the same acceleration that she has been, and if so then she has a good chance.
“It will be good ground and a hot day. Everybody will have to adapt, but it should be cooler on Sunday.”
Thundering Blue, Ziyad and Listen In complete the field.
Earlier on the card Gosden runs Mehdaayih in the Prix de Malleret – while later on, the Prix Eugene Adam also has British interest.
Charlie Appleby’s Jalmoud is back out quickly after flopping in the Queen’s Vase, while Charlton runs London Gold Cup winner Headman.
“Headman is interesting. He’s in good form, and we scratched him from Ascot because we felt the ground was too soft,” said Charlton.
“I’m hoping he’ll run well. But he is up against some decent horses, including Andre Fabre’s horse (Flop Shot), who was very impressive in a Group Three last time.”