STAR PREVIEW: Deauville Thursday

Racing from Deauville
Live on Sky Sports Racing HD from 10:00am
First Race: Prix des Nouveautes (Maiden) (2yo) (Straight Course) (Turf) (2yo) (UK Off Time: 10:10am)

A disappointing result yesterday as Freechope’s good early position looked to cost her stamina late on as she was swamped within the last furlong to finish fourth behind Khara and Thread Of Silver, both of whom were further behind early. La Grenade, who’d dropped down from ten furlongs, finished with a wet sail and will surely find and opportunity back up in trip.

We cannot take anything for granted in these times, and we had a reminder of just how lucky we are to be seeing live action when the French Government withdrew its approval to race in parts of the country still heavily affected by the coronavirus, including Paris and the east of the country (otherwise known as ‘red zones.’)

This means that Longchamp, Saint-Cloud and Auteuil will be closed, but thankfully the clearance racing has to continue in Normandy, the south and the west of the country means that action can still be held elsewhere, and thankfully that includes Deauville, which is the re-schulded venue for fixtures that were to be held at Paris-Longchamp and perhaps Chantilly. That would mean – assuming the situation stays the same – there’s still a major venue for elite racing on the flat, although nothing can be assumed.

We race at Deauville today, where we start with Prix des Nouveautes for unraced juveniles. One assumes that Sir Maurice (Mount of Maxime Guyon, running for Andrea Marcialis who’s had a close second and two winners in juvenile contests so far) and Cherie Amour (was an Arqana 2019 August Yearling Sales purchase out of Shalaa who maes debut for Andre Fabre with Mickael Barzalona on board) will dominate the early market shows, but it’s impossible to bet with confidence here.

We haven’t seen too many long distance contests since the return of racing in France (just 16 out of 142 races since the 11th of May have been over further than 1m4f), which makes the Prix Gold River – Fonds Europeen de l’Elevage (10.40) a particularly fascinating contest. It’s a very strong race for the grade and we could see Alain De-Royer Dupre get off the mark for the first time since racing’s return with Edisa. Any number of her efforts from last year – including her second to Mehdaayih in the Prix de Malleret, her win in the Jockey Club Invitational Stakes, her second in the Prix du Conseil de Paris, and her fifth in the Hong Kong Cup to boot – would make her the form her to beat here and whilst she’s stepping up in trip, her three runs at 1m3f-1m4f on testing ground give every hope she’ll see out the trip – and if that’s the case then she’ll take all the beating. A return in the Prix Exbury should mean she’s reasonably fit and there’s plenty to like about her chances.

The completion is strong – Muette made big strides in just four starts last season and could have a big year ahead of her, and Think Of Me was a comprehensive winner on her return – whilst Endorphine has been twice placed in pattern company.

A number of market leaders are closely matched in the Prix de Verneuil (11.10, for 3yo fillies) and the Prix de Viroflay (11.40, for 3yo colts and geldings) and nothing made enough appeal to recommend as a second selection.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Edisa 1 pt win 10.40 Deauville with

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 171.26 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Premier League ante-post, Six Nations Outright, Six Nations Specials, Cameron Brown Football Bets)