After the delights of Glorious Goodwood and ahead of the Ebor meeting at York the European flat season seems to be entering a spell of mediocrity. However there is a Group 1 race in Europe this weekend which could provide a valuable form guide to two of the major championship races at the end of the season.
The Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville sees the current fourth favourite for the Prix De L’Arc de Triomphe race against the joint market leader for the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes. However, Intello and Dawn Approach will be racing against several other horses that are proven at the highest level.
Bet Enthusiast followers have been advised on the race and the service is very much behind Dawn Approach, the champion two year old from last season. The horse won the 2000 Guineas by five lengths and then beat its adversary Toronado at Royal Ascot. Toronado won the third meeting in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last week and the form of that race looks very solid.
The two Richards, Hannon and Hughes, believe Toronado could be the best horse they have respectively trained and ridden, and the one time favourite for the Derby looks a high class animal. The bookies can’t split Dawn Approach and Toronado in betting for the QE 11 race on Champions Day and in betting for the Arc only three horses are a shorter price than Intello.
Dawn Approach has never run in a race over a mile without Toronado also in the field. The Hannons considered running Toronado at Deauville but instead they will be represented by Olympic Glory. This is the first Group 1 race ride for Frankie Dettori for the Qatar owners to whom he is now contracted.
The Sussex Stakes was run just 11 days before the Jacques Le Marois but the third favourite, Moonlight Cloud, has had an even shorter break, having won in France last weekend. That horse beat the champion sprinter of Britain, Lethal Force, and has come out of the race so well that connections are confident of another big run.
Even more interest is added to the race with the possible appearance of Declaration of War. The horse is trained by Aiden O’Brien and owned by the Coolmore syndicate. These businessmen won’t be running the horse just for a nice trip to France and any horse that can win at Royal Ascot must be respected.
Elusive Kate beat Sky Lantern at Newmarket last month but the race was subject to an appeal from the Hannons due to the interference to their horse. Sky Lantern also ran last Saturday at Goodwood but again looked unlucky in running when finishing fifth.
Aljamaaheer beat Declaration Of War behind Farhh at Newbury early in the season and is a consistent horse that could run into a place at a big price.
Dawn Approach has only been beaten twice in his career. The horse never settled in the Derby over an unsuitable distance and was beaten by Toronado at Goodwood. The title of champion miler in Europe is still to be decided but Dawn Approach can enhance his case by winning at Deauville on Sunday.
Back Next Friday.