This Sunday is by far the most exciting raceday of the summer at Deauville with two Group 1s and a pair of Group 2s who have gathered numerous runners from overseas. And once again, the French-trained horses face a tough challenge in order to keep at least one, maybe two, of the six Group 1s run at the Normandy track this summer.
Considering the success of the foreign horses so far, it may sound a bit presumptuous but there may be some reasons to think that it is not an impossible task…
No French-trained horse has won the Prix Morny (2.50) since Dabirsim in 2011 but there are reasons to think that EARTHLIGHT can keep the trophy at home this year. The son of Shamardal faces a serious bunch of rivals that includes three Royal Ascot winners but he has been impressive so far and has done everything the right way.
He went four lengths clear of Well Of Wisdom and Dubai Station in his last outing who both had run well at Ascot last June and was never really asked the question on this occasion. He is a progressive horse and has far more to offer than we have seen so far.
It’s still is a guessing game at this stage against such a good group of overseas horses but the cosy success of André Fabre’s filly Tropbeau in yesterday’s Prix de Cabourg at the venue boosted my confidence.
I’m not being over-patriotic but I just hope we have a special horse in Earthlight and this is exactly what it will take to beat the likes of Raffles Prize, A’Ali, Arizona, Golden Horde and the others. The soft ground is obviously a concern for all the runners but that should not be used as an excuse for any of them. Earthlight is the bet at 5/2.
Eight fillies and mares line-up for the other Group 1 of the day, the Prix Jean Romanet at 3.25 and although trainer Freddy Head hasn’t had a great Deauville meeting so far, I will side with his filly WITH YOU.
She has a proven record on soft ground and I really liked the way she bounced back to form in the Prix Rothschild when finishing a close second to Laurens. She never really travelled that day but finally picked-up in the last 200 yards to make up a lot of ground on the eventual winner.
She wore the blinkers for the first time on this occasion and one could guess that the extra 400 yards should suit her admirably here. She won a Group 3 in her only previous start on the Deauville round course and is definitely one to take into account at 4/1.
It is nice to see Marmelo defend his crown in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay at 4.00 against seven rivals. Nevertheless, I will once again side with Freddy Head and his Prix du Cadran winner CALL THE WIND.
Although he has not recaptured last year’s form, it is worth noting that he really started to get going in August in 2018 and he may just prefer this time of the year. He is also very versatile ground wise and has won his only previous start at Deauville.
Freddy Head has really gone through a difficult year so far, but Deauville has always been a special place for the ex-jockey and Sunday could bring him back some much-needed success.
Laurent's Best Bets:
CALL THE WIND