Timeform French Preview: Prix Rothschild

The Group 1 Prix Rothschild is the feature race at Deauville on Sunday
The Group 1 Prix Rothschild is the feature race at Deauville on Sunday

Timeform preview the Group 1 Prix Rothschild, the feature race at Deauville on Sunday...

"She won her first two starts last season, including a fillies’ Group 3 over C&D last October, and has improved again in two top-level outings this term."

Timeform on With You

Enlighted is the second foal of Flash Dance, who acted as the 100/1 pacemaker for Goldikova when she secured her fourth and final Rothschild win in 2011, and the four-year-old filly (by Invincible Spirit) has already surpassed the achievements of her useful dam. She has four wins to her name, including a career-best performance in a 1m listed contest at Longchamp in May, but was unable to repeat that form when only fifth of seven in a Group 3 at Chantilly last month that is yet to produce a winner from five subsequent runs.

The three-year-old filly With You is much less exposed. She won her first two starts last season, including a fillies' Group 3 over C&D last October, and has improved again in two top-level outings this term. Having reportedly taken a long time to come to hand this year, she made the Karl Burke-trained Laurens fight all the way in the Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp in late-May, only losing out by a short head, and she ran to a similar level when beaten less than half a length into fifth behind the same rival in the two-furlong longer Prix de Diane at Chantilly last month, holding every chance until run out of things close home. This drop in trip will suit and she looks a major contender.

Fellow three-year-old Sea Prose has achieved less in her five starts, but a repeat of her reappearance second in the Prix de la Grotte at Longchamp would see her far from disgraced.

Rosa Imperial represents Andre Fabre - who became the joint leading trainer in the race when Esoterique won it in 2014 - and this five-year-old mare looks a major contender. Despite not making the track until her four-year-old season, she won her first three starts, all over sprint trips in the space of six weeks last term, and ran respectably on her return in March after a spell on the sidelines due to sore shins and a muscle problem. The Godolphin-owned filly was below form trying dirt for the first time at Meydan later that month, but showed herself to be better than ever after three months off when winning a nine-runner listed race over C&D last time by one and a quarter lengths from Lady Frankel (I Am Charlie third), making most and quickening over a furlong out. She's up in grade, but is respected, as is fellow Godolphin runner Crown Walk who has a progressive profile, for all she didn't need to improve on her Prix Sandringham form (three quarters of a length second to Mission Impassible) when winning the Prix Chloe in a tight finish, also at Chantilly, last time.

Mission Impassible, a daughter of the Michael Bell-trained Nunthorpe winner Margot Did, clearly takes more stamina from her sire Galileo. She was successful three times in 2017, when also third in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly (one and a half lengths behind Wild Illusion), and was better than the result in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp in May, beaten only three and a half lengths by Teppal despite getting no sort of run and being allowed to coast home. She put up her best effort to gain a first pattern-race win in the Sandringham and isn't one to take lightly here.

Though the British contingent makes up a smaller percentage of the total field than has often been the case in French Group 1s this season, one of the team - Aljazzi - tops Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings for the race. The well-travelled five-year-old failed to add to her 2017 wins at Kempton and Sandown (Atalanta Stakes) in the Grade 2 Goldikova Stakes at Del Mar last November, but she has bounced back to her best in two starts this season, including a three and three-quarter length win over Tribute Act in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. She's respected, but it's worth noting that the very strong pace there set the race up perfectly and she may not get the same scenario here; she's also 0/2 in Group 1s, for all that her first try in that company (1000 Guineas in 2016) came when clearly not ready.

Tribute Act has now finished runner-up on her last three starts, though she deserves plenty of credit for her Royal Ascot effort (as do her connections for supplementing her for £15,000) considering her two previous starts had come in handicap company. She's clearly progressive, but was no match for Aljazzi there, and there's no obvious reason why this fellow hold-up performer should reverse the form.

The third British raider Tomyris has more pattern-race experience, but the Chartwell Stakes winner (by half a length from Lincoln Rocks, Hunaina fifth) was only fifth behind Aljazzi in the Duke of Cambridge. She stays an easy mile, so this venue should hold no fears, but will need a clear career-best to feature prominently. Multiple all-weather winner Hunaina wasn't seen to best effect back on the turf at Lingfield and shaped as if still in good form, which she then proved to be correct when winning the Group 3 Prix Bertrand du Breuil at Chantilly (Enlighted fifth) last time.

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