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Deauville’s summer racing festival hits it pinnacle this weekend and Sunday’s nine-race card boasts five black-type races, including the €1 million Group One Prix Jacques Le Marois, taken last year by the incredible Palace Pier.
John and Thady Gosden’s superstar miler is back to retain his title this year and faces some hot competition, including my each-way play. I’ve gone for a different approach this weekend, selecting one from each of the black-type races and I reckon that my NAP is certainly one to follow through to the end of the season.
Looking at the the Andre Fabre stable, I reckon that two-year-old NEVER DIES looks very interesting in the opener. Fabre’s juveniles have been on fire this season and any follower of this column will certainly agree – they have been firing in left, right and centre.
It is quite difficult to get away from likely favourite Best Sixteen, but Never Dies looked above average at Compiegne. The son of No Nay Never travelled supremely in the hands of Barzalona, demolishing the field and looking like he will appreciate a step up in trip in time.
Second in this race last year when chasing home the mighty Palace Pier, the Jessica Harrington-trained ALPINE STAR could be dangerous in a race sponsored by her owners. With that in mind it is easy to excuse her defeat on her seasonal bow and I would expect her to be tuned for the day.
Beaten less than a length by Tanawa, Palace Pier and Fancy Blue in three French Group One’s last summer, this daughter of Sea The Moon deserves her Group One and looks sure to run a big race. She has to be considered as a great each-way bet at least, although the good ground may not play to her advantage.
By his standards, trainer Simoné Brogi is having a quiet season and will be hoping that three-year-old GREGOLIMO can put a bit of sparkle back into their season. The son of Galiway turned a few heads when out-running market expectation in a pair of Group races at ParisLongchamp in the springtime and returns to action for the first time since May in the Prix Nureyev.
I hope that this tough colt can build on that promise he showed and take a first black-type success here. His owner Pierre Pilarski is responsible for many top-flight jumps horses, as well as trotting(sulky) legend Bold Eagle and it’s only a matter of time until he has a top-class flat horse – Gregolimo has that potential.
I don’t believe I need to give master trainer Andre Fabre any introduction, certainly not in regards to the Group Three Prix Minerve. The Chantilly maestro has saddled no less than nine winners of this contest and I am sure that the well-bred daughter of Sea The Stars BURGARITA will make it 10. She was only beaten a length in the Group One Prix De Diane in June and has always been crying out for this kind of trip (2,500m).
The race lacks a bit of depth this year, which only strengthens my faith in the three-year-old, who remains entered in the Arc in October. Although a bit daring to mention Burgarita and the Arc in the same breath at the moment, she could well enter the frame for October’s showpiece if she were to win on Sunday. She still remains unexposed, and I am sure that this step up in trip is only going to play to her strengths. I am super excited to see her this weekend, especially with Mickael Barzalona back on board.
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MORE SUNDAY HORSE RACING TIPS
- PONTEFRACT TIPS: Timeform take us through the card
- LE CRUNCH: Ruby Walsh and Matt Chapman’s top picks for Deauville’s big one at 14.50
- IRISH VIEW: Our 5 cracking plays for Sunday’s meetings
- PAUL JACOBS: 5 super selections across the UK & Irish tracks today
- NAP OF THE DAY: Today’s NAPs table of horse racing tips in the UK & Ireland