The Deauville August meeting gets underway on Tuesday and Patrick Weaver is here with four bets from the Group and Listed races that have attracted 13 runners from England and Ireland...
"That run underlines the quality of Stag Horn's form and he has to have a huge chance in a relatively weak contest."
The Brits have an excellent chance of hitting the back of the net in the first race of the day with Sam Maximus.
Tom Dascombe's two-year-old is favourite for the Group 3 Darley Prix de Cabourg at 12:08, on the strength of his third in the July Stakes at Newmarket. He was beaten two heads by Lusail and Asymmetric, and the latter stamped the form by winning the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood last week.
That run earned Sam Maximus a rating of 107, several pounds ahead of the French runners with ratings, namely Dizzy Bizu 100, Anterselva and Toimyson 96, Nirliit 92 and Have A Good Day 91.
Ryan Moore rides Dairerin for Michael Bell but the Ripon and Salisbury winner is rated 91, so would need to improve 16lb to finish alongside Sam Maximus, if the favourite runs as well as he did last time.
Although Andre Fabre does not have a good record in the race, it would be no surprise if his once-raced colt Trident were to prove the best of the home team. Owned by Coolmore, he hit the front a furlong and a half out at Longchamp and readily won his maiden by two lengths from Khan, who returned to the Paris track to win next time out.
There was a lot to like about Trident who stretched out immediately Mickael Barzalona asked him to, I can see him running a big race.
Boughey fillies have Zellie to beat
While it is difficult to make any sort of case for Moore in the first, he has a realistic chance of taking the second of the Group races, the Prix Six Perfections Sky Sports Racing at 13:25.
Moore's on board the shorter-priced of George Boughey's two fillies owned by Nick Bradley Racing, Oscula.
She has come up against Andrew Balding's unbeaten Sandrine in her last two six-furlong races. Before that she had won at Brighton and Epsom.
Her stablemate Hellomydarling was nine lengths behind her at Royal Ascot but has since improved with a third to Kevin Ryan's Atomic Force in a Chantilly Group 2.
Were this race over six I would be choosing between the two but it's over seven, and I prefer fillies that have won over the trip to those that have yet to race over it.
Zellie's second of two successes over seven came in Listed company over course and distance. She beat Miss Cleopatra three lengths with Barzalona looking round for non-existent dangers with a furlong to go.
She will almost certainly start favourite and I'd expect her to win.
If you want an each-way bet, give Simon and Ed Crisford's Daneh a close look. She won a weak race at Kempton very easily so it is impossible to quantify what she achieved.
What is in her favour is that it was over seven and her half-brother (by Frankel) Latest Generation is a decent miler. Her dam won a Group 1, so we have almost certainly yet to see the best of this filly.
Coeursamba can confirm Guineas form with Mother Earth
And so to the big one - the Prix Rothschild at 14:00.
This Group 1 for fillies aged three and over has attracted two from the UK - Primo Bacio (rated 112) and Parent's Prayer (108) - and three from Ireland - Mother Earth (114), No Speak Alexander (105) and Belle Image (105).
Mother Earth, who won the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and last time out ran second to Snow Lantern in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, battling all the way to the line to hold off Alcohol Free and Lady Bowthorpe for the runner-up spot. Prima Bacio was a close fifth after meeting trouble in running, so there is an each-way case for Andrea Atzeni's mount.
Prior to that Mother Earth had been beaten just over a length by Coeursamba in the French 1,000. The winner met trouble in running in the French Oaks over 10 furlongs but clearly can't be ruled out back over a mile.
No Speak Alexander and Belle Image finished upsides each other when third and fourth in the Irish Guineas. While that kind of finishing position was expected of No Speak Alexander (SP 13/2), Belle Image (125/1) exceeded expectations. Her subsequent poor effort in Listed company at the Curragh suggests it was a fluke.
The German challenger Novemba was fourth behind Snow Lantern, Alcohol Free and Mother Earth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, so is in with a shout. Tahlie who gets better by the race and has won her last four, would be best of the rest.
The Group 3 Prix de Psyche at 14:35 is for three-year-old fillies that haven't won a Group 2 this year, so it's a perfect opportunity for George Boughey's Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel to add to her Newmarket Listed win in May.
Fourth in the Musidora at York and the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock, she really ought to be involved in the finish.
The best of the home team would be Harajuku and Light Stars - third and fifth respectively in an Oaks trial back in April.
Harajuku then won the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre but the 4lb penalty she picked up for that win levels the playing field here.
Jessica Harrington's The Blue Brilliant is a handicapper on an upward curve. Light Of Darkness is among the best fillies of her age in Turkey.
Following Crohanne's withdrawal there are only seven runners, and none of those longer than 4/1 appeals each-way so I won't be playing.
Watson all set for a Stag Party
Last of the non-handicaps on the card is the Prix du Carrousel at 15:10. There's just the one runner from England and he is a worthy favourite in the Sportsbook - Archie Watson's Stag Horn ridden by James Doyle.
The four-year-old was last seen finishing fourth in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot. I would have been inclined to gloss over this race had it not been for the Ascot second, Calling The Wind, winning so well at Goodwood last week. That run underlines the quality of Stag Horn's form and he has to have a huge chance in a relatively weak contest.
Nagano Gold is the highest-rated of the opposition but has not won away from Warsaw for two years. Then again, he has been contesting Group races. On a positive note, he won the last two Listed races he ran in - at Longchamp in 2019 and Vichy in 2018.
In the belief that Nagano Gold is past his prime and Stag Horn's best days lie ahead of him, I make James Doyle's mount the best bet on the card.
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