2.50 PM Haras d’Etreham Jean Prat (Group 1) (3yo Colts & Fillies) 7f (Straight)
The bold decision of connections of Perfect Power to take on the big fish in the July Cup rather than swim in the shallower waters of the following day’s Haras d’Etreham Prix Jean Prat might have left tomorrow’s Deauville event looking rather emaciated.
Not a bit of it.
This straight seven-furlong three-year-old event has still attracted a field befitting of its Group 1 status, with the first three from the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner, last year’s Cheveley Park Stakes scorer and the runners-up from both the Irish 2000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes all taking each other on.
Last year it witnessed a remarkable Irish one-two, courtesy of Law Of Indices and Thunder Moon. Could history possibly repeat itself?
It’s not out of the question given that the two Irish raiders are Sheila Lavery’s New Energy, who travelled so smoothly into both a Curragh classic and the St James’s Palace Stakes before his run flattened out, that this drop back in trip looks highly logical.
The Aidan O’Brien filly, Tenebrism surely needed the run on her reappearance when sent off favourite for the 1000 Guineas and then only just lost out on third place in a photo in a red-hot renewal of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
She holds the Pouliches heroine, Mangoustine, on that form and is bred to be top class – her dam, Immortal Verse, enjoyed her finest hour at this very venue when landing the 2011 Prix Jacques Le Marois.
New Energy’s Royal Ascot conqueror, Lusail, who finished three lengths ahead that day but a short-head behind the winner, Coroebus, is another credible candidate.
But my suspicion is that the key form line is the Poulains, which saw Modern Games beat Texas by a length and three-quarters with Tribalist a further three-quarters of a length back in third.
Modern Games has since run highly creditably to finish third to the subsequent Eclipse Stakes winner, Vadeni, when his stamina was stretched in the Prix du Jockey-Club.
Whether he now wants this big drop back in distance is debatable, but he seems a reliable sort who should again go well.
However, this time he may have to give best to Texas, who showed brilliant early speed to get across from the outside stall and make the lead in the Poulains.
He has been freshened up in the intervening eight weeks by his young trainer, Henri-Francois Devin, and this intermediate trip should prove ideal.
Two other interesting contenders are Francis Graffard’s Rozgar and the David Simcock-trained Light Infantry. Rozgar will be making his pattern race debut here but completed a hat-trick when running out a ready winner in listed company last time and is bidding to extend an excellent recent run of results for his owner-breeder, the Aga Khan.
And Light Infantry, who numbers a Group 3 triumph among just three career starts, has been given plenty of time to get over the exertions of his only start this term back in April, when he was far from disgraced to finish ninth (only half a length behind Perfect Power) in a 2000 Guineas were the lack of a strong pace counted against hold-up horses like him.
Next Best: Modern Games
New Energy seeks a Group 1 win in France \ Healy Racing
James Crispe selected last week’s Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Alpinista at 8/1