There is more British interest on another high-quality card at Deauville on Sunday - don't miss Jason Kiely's preview of the action.
This summer’s meeting at Deauville has provided us with some fantastic racing and many magical moments, and as the month-long spectacle winds down we are provided with one final ‘Super Sunday’.
The 150th running of the Group Two Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville sees eight runners go to post for the 2500 metre event where the ground is officially ‘Good’, and which strangely for Deauville does not include a single British runner.
Ziyad heads into this afternoon's feature as the general second favourite, but having battled hard when only beaten a short-head by Coronet in the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud when last seen at the end of June, the Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained four-year-old is many people's idea of the winner, none more so than his jockey Olivier Peslier.
“I love riding him, he is such a lovely horse. I have won on him before and the conditions are perfect for him, so this could be his chance,” said Peslier, who takes over from Ziyad’s regular rider Maxime Guyon while he serves a four-day suspension.
Connections of Ziyad are still looking for a first win in group company for the gelding, but even without managing to get his head in front, 2019 has been a successful year for the son of Rock Of Gibralter, finishing a close second on his two most recent starts.
With Coronet's win in last week’s Group One Prix Jean Romanet acting as a huge form boost to Ziyad, this leaves four-time champion jockey Peslier quietly confident on their chances.
He added: "I am happy to be riding my horse Ziyad, he only just got beaten by Coronet at Saint Cloud, so the form is there.
"He has been running so well all year and I think on current form it has to be between him and Nagano Gold.
"Carlos Laffon-Parias is my trainer and he has always been very good to me and I have always been very confident in him, so hopefully now we can put it all together with this lovely horse.
“The Czech horse [Nagano Gold] ran well the last time in England and he now has a leader. I don’t know what they will do exactly with him so we will have to see.
Tiberian is coming here after a break and he has changed trainer, he’s now with Larissa [Kneip]. I don’t know if he is in good form, but I won this race with him in 2017”.
Trying to make the 2500km round trip worthwhile, Czech Republic-based trainer Vaclav Luka is confident that his stable star Nagano Gold is capable of improving of last year’s fourth place, and land the €200,000 contest.
“His preparation has gone perfect and he is looking really well. He is ready to go and has travelled well here to Deauville which is good, so everything is ok. We are looking forward to it,” explained Luka, who trains 100kms from Prague.
Nagano Gold exploded onto the scene at Royal Ascot where terrible luck in running cost the five-year-old victory in the Hardwicke Stakes, seeing him finish just a half-length second to Defoe.
That day he was ridden by Christophe Soumillon - Nagano Gold’s fifth different jockey in five races - who stated immediately after the race 'As we jumped out of the gates, Masar crossed me, I lost a lot of ground and then in the straight I got pushed wide.'
Luka runs Premier Lion in the race, and although highly outclassed, he will serve as a pacemaker for Nagano Gold, who once again will be ridden by Soumillon.
“Nagano Gold is well after Ascot, I was expecting a completely different race there, so this is why I have another horse in the race at Deauville.
Luka went on: "He is there just to make sure things go as we would like. Even if it doesn’t go well for some reason its ok because the horse [Nagano Gold] owes us nothing, he is a friend. I know the horse is very good, but he really needs a fast pace race."
Looking towards the future, plans are quite definite for ‘the best horse in the Czech Republic.'
Luka added: “I know what can happen in racing, he has won us some good races. Why not have him in the Ar? That for sure should suit him, so no matter what the result is in Deauville, the plan is to go to Longchamp and run in the Arc. Nagano Gold is my best horse, he has a very big heart."
From the rest of the field, a strong case can be made for Villa Rosa to finish in the placings. In the money on every one of her ten career starts, the Henri-François Devin-trained daughter of Doctor Dino has gone from strength to strength this season and comes here on the back of a hard fought success in the ‘Grand Prix de Lyon’. Although having a bit to find on ratings, it is hard to fault the filly's attitude and she may steal a place.
Without a Group One race on this afternoons card, closer attention will be paid to the Group Three Prix de Meautry Barriere, specifically François Rohaut’s runner Big Brothers Pride.
Hugely impressive when running a strong field ragged over 1200 metres at Chantilly in April, she was then sent off 7-1 second favourite only to Battaash over five furlongs in Goodwood’s King George Qatar Stakes on just her fourth lifetime start, where she found things a bit too hot according to her Pau-based trainer,
Rohaut said: "It was a bit difficult against Battaash over five furlongs at Goodwood. She was taken for a bit of speed there, it really is a very, very speedy track.
The return to 1200 metres and the drop in class sees Big Brothers Pride as short as 2-1 to land the €40,000 first prize.
“This is more her trip, we have a good draw (2), she should go well on the ground. She has been in Deauville for a while now, everything is nice and calm,” said Rohaut.
“She is a very rhythmic filly who gets herself to the front very easily. She is very easy to ride and Pierre-Charles Boudot will just try and let her do things like she has done in the past, at the front where she likes,” Rohaut said.
Winner of this race with Signs Of Blessings in 2017, who then went on to Group One success, Rohaut suggested that a return to England was not out of the question for Big Brothers Pride, providing all goes well this afternoon.
Rohaut added: “It's difficult to compare her to Signs Of Blessings, even if they have the same sire (Invincible Spirit). Signs was an exceptional horse, if we could do that again it wouldn’t be too bad. If she goes well here, we will go to Ascot in early October for a Group Three, and hopefully that will set up next year.”
Of the ten runners in the race, four English will go to post, with Dean Ivory-trained veteran Stake Acclaim being the most supported of the ‘visitors’ in the market and he will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Although not chasing a Group One winner this afternoon, Dettori may not go home empty handed as he also rides Joplin in the Group Three Prix Quincey Barriere.
German raider Joplin finished four lengths behind the mighty Laurens in the Group One Prix Rothchild, having previously won a Listed race over course and trip with Dettori on board. Joplin is a strong favourite even with Dettori declared to put up overweight at 55kgs.