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There is some fantastic racing on offer at Deauville Racecourse including the Group One Prix Jean Prat over seven furlongs – the highlight of a nine-race card. Heavy is the official going for the first weekend of the Deauville summer festival and punters will need to beware, as we could see some big-priced runners hit the podium in these conditions.
Looking at the feature, I think I have unearthed one that will out-run his odds and I feel that my NAP of the day is as solid as they get and has true Group One potential.
It is always dangerous to nominate a two-year-old as your best bet, but I am going to make an exception this weekend as the Andre Fabre-trained ZELLIE is worth the risk and can maintain her unbeaten run. The daughter of Wotton Bassett caught my eye on her debut win at Saint Cloud, where she was ridden well off the pace but proved ultra-game and ran on strongly to score under hands and heels riding.
Her second run (also at Saint Cloud) was even more impressive. She was pitched in against some decent rivals and although she was ridden closer to the pace, jockey Mikael Barzalona found himself caught in a pocket at the 400m pole. Once clear, Zellie really powered home and suggested that she will need further in time. This fillies attitude and also her capacity to cope with tricky ground/race situations really proved to me that she is top class and she should be winning this with the minimum of fuss.
The highlight of the card, the Group One Prix Jean Prat has gone to some excellent horses in recent seasons including Too Darn Hot and most recently Pinatubo.
This year however, the race looks wide open and I will be quite interested to see how ERASMO fairs out now stepped up to Group One company. The Andre Fabre inmate is third choice in terms of the Godolphin pecking order, but I feel that he is still improving and could raise a few eyebrows come Sunday afternoon.
I am not saying he will win – and he may not even place – but for me the three-year-old is rapidly improving and ticks a lot of boxes. A recent winner on heavy ground and a proven miler, Erasmo took the scalp of some nice horses this season and it would be no surprise to see him continue the rich vein of form and get in the shake up here for his young jockey Hugo Besnier, who rides in his first Group One.
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The seven furlong straight track at Deauville is one of my favorites, as it offers everyone an equal chance and so rarely throws up a hard luck story. This is one of the reasons I am so keen on the Francois Rohault trained filly TALABAAT on Sunday. The daughter of Shalaa has improved with every run and chases a four-timer as she steps up to listed company for the first time.
She has often been slowly out of the stalls and can be a bit lazy throughout the early stages of her races and it’s for this reason that I think the straight track at Deauville will really play to her strengths and we should see her staying on strongly at the finish. Obviously she has a couple of questions to answer as she steps up to Listed class for the first time but she is one of the most interesting runners on the card and I will be having a few euros on.
Anyone that follows this column will know that I am a keen follower of the Chantilly based – Irish born trainer Gavin Hernon and our selections when siding with this yard have rarely been too far away.
STORMBRINGER lines up for one of his biggest assignments to date and takes part in a Group 3 over the straight six furlongs. A change of both tactics and jockey this season have seen this six-year-old really fulfil his former promise and he now chases a four-timer. Hernon’s apprentice Benjamin Marie is unbeaten when riding Strombringer and if the pair produce a similar effort to their most recent success at Chantilly, then they should get in the shake up here .
A lover of soft ground, a strong traveller and proven over this distance, Stormbringer is a huge each-way bet from the in-form Hernon stable.
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