Last weekend’s NAP Watch Me got our Deauville summer meeting selections off to a flyer when landing the Prix Rothschild and, as it was announced during the week, the dual Group One winning mare will now head off for a well-deserved retirement after encountering some physical issues after that win.
The second Group One of the meeting comes on this Sunday’s card and it is where we will find my NAP of the day. The Prix Maurice De Gheest has been the hunting ground of some top-class sprinters in recent years and we are treated to a star-studded line-up once more. A couple of strong group races across the card support the big one, and I would suggest a small double on both my NAP and NB.
One of the leading lights of Chantilly-based Andre Fabre’s training operation EARTHLIGHT looks like he should take all the beating in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest on Sunday. Already a dual Group One scorer, the son of Sharmadal made a fine return to action four weeks ago when landing a listed race here at Deauville. That win saw the colt take his lifetime tally to a perfect six from six and although he steps up marginally in trip that shouldn’t be an issue according to connections.
This is by far the hardest task Earthlight has faced to date and ill not have things easy with the likes of Spaces Blues, Hello Youmzain and Lope Y Fernandez in the 11 strong line up but Fabre has always highlighted this as the target race for Earthlight. The strong travelling chestnut should be ridden handily from stall eight and I think that, providing he is not hampered throughout the race, we will see a real champion come to the fore here.
Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre is generally a very realistic man in terms of entering his horses and is could be quite significant that his unbeaten ZEYREK has been supplemented for this listed race. The Aga Khan owned and bred colt has been hugely impressive in both his wins to date and de Royer-Dupre looks to have found an ideal opportunity to extend that sequence here.
The obvious danger of the field is Step By Step but Zeyrek showed a lot of signs of quality when landing a conditions race at Compiegne just two weeks ago. The 400m step up in trip here should play to Zeyrek’s advantage (by Sea The Stars), who holds an entry in both the Grand Prix de Paris and the Arc. I would love to see Zeyrek win here in a similar style to that Compiegne win and he could go on to be a leading force in the staying division.
Living in Chantilly you often catch a word or two on some from some of the more impressive gallops in the mornings from throughout the yards. This is very much the case with GLORY LIGHT who, like all twelve runners in this race, will be making her debut. Trained by a man who has done so well with two- year-old’s this season, Fabrice Chappet, Glory Light is sure to know her job first time out and will be partnered by top jockey Stephane Pasquier.
Although the 1,300m trip is probably the minimum trip she will handle, Glory Light comes from a strong line of blacktype performers and it would be no surprise to see her pass the post in front on her racecourse debut (at a nice price too), especially considering the word going around about her, although Louliana could prove a danger also.
Jason Kiely’s tips for Deauville on Sunday
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