French Racing Tips: Starman fancied to follow up July Cup success

Ed Walker, trainer of big-race fancy Starman
Ed Walker will be smiling if his July Cup winner Starman follows up in the Prix Maurice de Gheest

The Prix Maurice de Gheest is the highlight of Sunday's Deauville card. Patrick Weaver previews the Group 1 and other races with English runners...

"Lope Y Fernanadez was third in this race last year, and had finished runner-up in the Prix Jean Prat the previous month. His 100 per cent record of finishing in the first three at Deauville makes him an attractive each-way bet at 16/1."

If the odds for this weekend's big race at Deauville are taken at face value, either Frankie Dettori or Tom Marquand will be on the winner.

Twelve line up for the Prix Maurice de Gheest at 14:50 with Dettori on 5/2 shot Campanelle and Marquand on Starman. (7/4). It is 6/1 bar the pair.

Market leaders can benefit from light campaigns

Starman fulfilled his owner-breeder David Ward's dreams when winning the July Cup at Newmarket and this is an obvious race to go for as the participants have had four weeks to recover. That said, few in the last 50 years have won both in the same year.

In going for Starman to confirm Newmarket form with Glen Shiel, sixth, Brando, seventh and Rohaan, 10th, I am taking into account he did not run at Royal Ascot so has not had as demanding a start to 2021 as some.

Campanelle, like Starman, is a Group One winner with only one defeat on her CV. That success came in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot where Law Of Indices were among those in her slipstream. It's impossible to fault her and the more rain that falls the better her chance. Dettori and Ward have already had a winning favourite at Deauville this weekend with Twilight Gleaming.

Rohaan won two Group races and two handicaps - one at Royal Ascot - prior to seemingly being outclassed in the July Cup. I'm not giving him another chance but David Evans and Rohaan's connections clearly think he is capable of better than he showed at Newmarket.

Kinross has won two Group races and improved 7lb since being gelded. He's definitely on the up but is officially rated 5lb lower than Starman.

Law Of Indices sprang a 29/1 surprise when making all over seven here at Deauville last month in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat. There was just a neck between him and Thunder Moon at the line and with similar tactics over this shorter trip Law Of Indices should come out best of the pair again.

Lope Y Fernanadez may look a square peg in a round hole as he has been running over a mile this year. However, he was third in this race last year, and had finished runner-up in the Prix Jean Prat the previous month. His 100 per cent record of finishing in the first three at Deauville makes him an attractive each-way bet at 16/1.

Brando won this race in 2017, came eighth in 2018 and was beaten a neck in the 2019 running. He has finished unplaced twice behind Starman this season, and his Sportsbook odds of 33/1 are an indication that he isn't expected to be involved in the finish.

The three French runners - Marianafoot, Ocean and Tropbeau - have all won Group 3s in the last 18 months, and need career bests to make the 1-2-3 at this level.

Diamond to sparkle for Middleham Park Racing

The Prix Club Hipico Santiago - Prix Moonlight Cloud at 15:25 is a more open sprint than the Group 1 it follows.

The Brits have won the last two runnings and I'm going with Middleham Park Racing's Ventura Diamond to give Cross-Channel raiders a third consecutive victory in the race.

Her record in similar Listed contests over six furlongs is 61-32, so she has a good each-way chance on her favoured soft ground.

Hollie Doyle rides Mo Celita for Adrian Nicholls, with Shane Kelly getting the leg up on David Evans' Coul Queen. Both would seem to have an impossible task at the weights.

One of the reasons running in this race makes sense for Ventura Diamond and leading French hopes Prince Lancelot, Livachope and Peaches is that they are unpenalised for their Listed wins last year.

In contrast Urgent Appeal and Coachello have an extra 4lbs as their wins were gained this year. With her fillies' allowance, Ventura Diamond gets 8lbs from colts of similar standing to herself.

The one they will all fear most is Valloria - unquestionably the best filly in the race. She ran a career-best last time over seven furlongs, coming a close fourth to Law Of Indices and Thunder Moon in a Group 1. She drops in class and distance in search of her second win of the year and it is the sprint trip that has worried me out of selecting her.

She could be outpaced by horses rated lower than her. Then again, there will be many thinking her class will be sufficient to get her into the winner's enclosure.

Mogul needs to put Epsom flop behind him

And so to the Group 3 Prix de Reux at 16:00 . . . and Mogul.

This is a race Aidan O'Brien's colt really ought to win. He has amassed over £1.5million for Coolmore, thanks to his successes in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase and at Longchamp last year. Successes for which he has no penalty. What's not to like?

Well, his form this year has not matched that of 2020, and last time out he was tailed off in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. That run was put down to the soft going and it will be no faster this Sunday.

There have to be similar going concerns for Frankie Dettori's mount Star Safari, who has gone up from a rating of 94 to 110 while campaigned in Dubai. He has only raced on good or firmer, though, so will find himself outside of his comfort zone.

Alter Adler's winning run came to an end last time out in the German Derby in which he was an honourable second. He has a good attitude and got off the mark in a maiden on soft at Chantilly in May.

Northern Ruler was down the field in the Grand Prix de Paris having previously won a Group 3 trial for that race.

The Good Man is on an upward curve, going close in a Group 3 after winning 12-furlong handicaps at Longchamp and Saint-Cloud.

It is tempting to make Mogul the bet of the day, given his class, but with so much rain about, and after his dire run at Epsom, I'll pass.

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