Another weekend and another fantastic Group One card at Deauville as the Prix Jacques Le Marois takes centre stage up at the Normandy track.
With multiple thunder storms during the week seeing a huge amount of rainfall (I know, I was caught in one on Thursday) we must be prudent with our punting, but I do like a lot of horses on the card and can see plenty of value throughout the day, including my NAP who I think is an incredibly talented animal.
Trainer of Alpine Star Jessica Harrington is not only in electric form at the moment but she also knows what it takes to win this race, having taken it in 2019 with the fantastic Alpha Centuri. The legendary trainer will be bidding to bag a second Group One of the month and Alpine Star looks like she is great value to do so here.
This Group One winner ran an incredibly tough race when going down by a short head to Fancy Blue in the French Oaks (form has since been upheld) and I feel that this drop back down to the mile, coupled with the heavy going could bring out the best in the filly.
Harrington is a master with this type of animal and is sure to have had this race on the agenda over recent months and will have freshened up Alpine Star accordingly. Being the only filly in the race she will also be in receipt of 1.5kgs from the field, a huge advantage in these conditions.
If taking off in her usual front-running style I think Alpine Star could be immensely hard to peg back and I fancy her strongly to hold off the certain barrage of attacks from the likes of Palace Pier and Persian King.
For what sounds like his final year in the training ranks, Chantilly trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre has been gifted with the remarkably talented filly Valia, who is unbeaten in her two starts to date.
The second of those victories came in a hot listed race at Paris Longchamp last month and the manner of that success led to talk of a possible tilt at the Arc in October.
That day she was settled out the back and ridden like a good horse should be, when switched out wide on the turn for home not only did Valia surrender numerous lengths but she also won with plenty in hand as jockey Gerald Mosse cosily punched her out to the line.
She still remains entered in the Arc and De Royer-Dupre has a deep knowledge of the family having also trained Valia’s mother Veda to be placed in a Group One. She comes from a long line of champion fillies and I see her as very difficult to beat here.
A horse massively on the upgrade, Now We Know was quite eye-catching when taking a class one race at Le Lion d’Angers last month and looks more than capable to handle this step up to listed level.
For that performance Now We Know was always tracking the pace before being gently eased to the lead inside the final furlong, going on to win almost on the bridle by two lengths with the geldings action at the finish suggested that today’s much heavier ground should not be an issue.
The son of Kingman has taken his yearly results to 1,1,2 and the 2,000m distance looks like his optimum trip. With the yard of Nicolas Clement in great order currently I hope that Now We Know can continue his run of progression and could be good enough to put it up to both Dawn Intello and Hurricane Dream(both of whom had extremely tough races in the French Derby).
Tips for French racing on Sunday
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