Laurent Barbarin

Port Guillaume (9-4) and Golden Boy (6-5) were both winners for Laurent Barbarin on Saturday. Sunday sees a top-class renewal of the Prix Maurice de Gheest – live on Sky Sports Racing – and Laurent has three bets on the Deauville card.

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Published 19:45 7/8 - Sunday's selections online

After Watch Me’s victory in the Prix Rothschild last Sunday, the French brigade is once again well-armed to keep the second Group 1 of the Deauville meeting at home. However, there is a strong British and Irish contingent for the Prix Maurice de Gheest, a race that looks one of, if not the best edition in the last 15 years.

The Prix Hipodromo de Chile(2.15) is the big handicap of the day. Sixteen runners will go to post in this 10f, €40 000 contest for three-year-olds.

It may not be worth scratching our head too much and go straight for the obvious in this open race. Although he still is a maiden after seven starts, THE GOOD MAN has all the attributes to win this race.

He comes in on the back of two close runner-up spots in this division, including one at the venue. He has a perfect draw in stall eight which will allow Théo Bachelot to place him in a good spot. He is as good on good ground as he is on a testing surface; and furthermore, he is progressive as his form suggests in his last two runs.

At Deauville on 31 May, he finished second, ¾ lengths ahead of Sous Les Nuages (André Fabre), and in his next start at Parislongchamp, in a similar contest, he was second again but 1¾ lengths in front of the same rival.

Sous Les Nuages has since won a Quinté race at Compiègne and this makes it easy to understand why it should be The Good Man’s turn to score.

In the Prix Maurice de Gheest (2.50), is EARTHLIGHT going to emulate Pinatubo and Victor Ludorum, who are also by Shamardal, and win a Group 1 at three?

The way he came back and scored in the Listed Prix Kistena last month suggests that he has lost nothing of the sparkle he showed at two. He certainly faces older counterparts for the first time but has one kilo advantage on them.

The way he won on 12th July and the way he scored in the Morny here last year, it all suggests the extra 100 meters will not be a problem. For anyone who has a doubt about his stamina, we have to remember that André Fabre had considered the 2000 Guineas as a possible target before Earthlight sustained an injury.

According to his trainer, Golden Horde has improved since last year, and the same statement has been made about Space Blues and on the French side, we must also admit that we have seen a much more focused and better performing Spinning Memories than last season.

But judged on his comeback, Earthlight has certainly not lost any of his ability. He will have improved for his comeback effort which lead me to the conclusion that he will remain hard to get passed.

The 2020 Edition of the Group 3 Prix de Reux (4.35) is a good one. Beside Soft Light, Folamour, and Thundering Blue who have been competing at the highest level, it is interesting to see emerging horses such as High Dream and STYLEDARGENT.

The latter has improved a lot since he was gelded last November. He has won two of his three starts this year over 12f and was far from disgraced when finishing third in the Group 3 Grand Prix de Vichy on 22 July, over 10f, a distance that was too short for his aptitude.

Following his success at Lyon-Parilly on 21 June, Jean-Pierre Gauvin suggested that the Grand Prix de Deauville (over same course & distance as today on 30th August) would be the ideal target for his inmate. Originally, he had not planned to run him between Vichy and the end of August but he said that his horse has come out so well from his last run that he decided to give it a go.

The near Lyon-based trainer would not do it if he did not think his horse can run a big race. He is back over a much more suitable distance than at Vichy and looks an interesting bet at 5/1. 

My next tipping column will be on 12th August for meetings from Le Touquet and Le Lion d’Angers.   

Laurent Barbarin
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