Timeform preview the Prix Jean Prat which takes place at Deauville for the first time on Sunday...
"Gustav Klimt has the best form, is well clear on Timeform ratings, and is reunited with Ryan Moore who rode him to all three wins last term."
Timeform on Gustav Klimt
The list of Jean Prat winners includes some well-known names, such as Bago (2004) and Lawman (2007), as well as some British success, notably for Richard Hannon Snr. who saddled Dick Turpin (2010) and Havana Gold (2013).
Essentially, though, this Group 1 for three-year-olds is one of the most attainable top-level races for the classic generation, and it's no surprise that the Ballydoyle team have sent Gustav Klimt over to France for the first time to try and land his first Group 1 of the season.
The joint seventh highest rated three-year-old in Europe, Gustav Klimt won twice at two, including the Superlative Stakes (did very well after being hampered) at Newmarket, and was successful in the Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial on his return in May.
He failed to match that form when sixth in the 2000 Guineas and third in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh, but produced his best effort yet when a half-length second of 10 to Without Parole in the St James's Palace Stakes on the round mile at Royal Ascot last time, making good headway from the rear over a furlong out.
Though the first two were well clear, it's worth pointing out that things were rather set up for Gustav Klimt by the tactics on his stable companion U S Navy Flag and he may not be so good in relation to the winner as the result first suggests. Regardless, that's the best form on offer here, and it's a slight surprise to see that he isn't favourite for the race.
That honour lies with the well-bred Olmedo. He's from the family of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Steinlen on the distaff side and landed his own top-level win in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp (by a neck from Hey Gaman) in May. Olmedo shaped better than the result when a well-held 13th behind Study of Man in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly, racing with too much zest over the extra two furlongs, and will be suited by the return to a mile here (won over 7.5f here last August).
The James Tate-trained Hey Gaman finished seventh - five lengths ahead of Olmedo - in the Prix du Jockey Club and is another who should be suited by the drop in trip, having clearly not seen it out last time. Despite that, he's progressed with each start this season and this straightforward front-runner has been underestimated in the market on his last two outings (32/1 at Longchamp and 16/1 at Chantilly last time).
Intellogent fared best of all in the Jockey Club, showing improved form to be beaten just three quarters of a length in fourth. Winner of the Prix de Guiche on his previous start, the Fabrice Chappet-trained colt couldn't quite match the effort of his sire Intello, who won the Jockey Club in 2013, but ran with plenty of credit regardless. Incidentally, his sire Intello was third over this C&D when chasing home Moonlight Cloud and Olympic Glory in the Prix Jacques le Marois later that season; Olmedo's sire Declaration of War was fourth in the same race.
Invincible Spirit was a sprinter, so his sole trip to Deauville was for a six-furlong Group 3 back in 2001, however his son Ancient Spirit appears to have gleaned more stamina from his dam who won at 11f/1½m on two out of her three starts. The German-trained colt produced a smart effort when winning the 10-runner Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen (German 2000 Guineas) at Cologne in May, seemingly improving for first-time blinkers, and shouldn't be underestimated here if taking the bull by the horns once more (rushed into lead after three furlongs and quickening further clear three furlongs out).
Wusool's slow-and-steady campaign looks to be paying off judging by his three and a half length win in the Group 3 Prix Paul de Moussac at Chantilly last month. He's worth his place in this better company and may do better still, his only defeat actually one of his best bits of form, when beaten a neck by future listed winner Mer Et Nuages in a minor event at Longchamp with Intellogent back in third.
Cascadian, supplemented by Godolphin on Thursday morning, makes the step up from listed company. Like Wusool, his best form comes from a defeat rather than one of his three wins, recorded when three quarters of a length second to the Charlie Appleby-trained Mythical Magic (now rated 108) in a 7f listed race here last August. Clearly, he needs to improve on that form, but he's in the right hands (trainer Andre Fabre has won this race five times, most recently with Territories in 2015). Godolphin-owned horses have won two of the last three renewals.
Gustav Klimt has the best form, is well clear on Timeform ratings, and is reunited with Ryan Moore who rode him to all three wins last term. A three-time winner over seven furlongs (with several entries over that trip and shorter over the coming months), Gustav Klimt should have no issue should this develop into a bit of a sprint; as a result, he rates a clear bet to give Aidan O'Brien his first win in the race. Of the others, Intellogent finished ahead of both Olmedo and Hey Gaman in the Jockey Club so looks overpriced.