Last year’s winner Palace Pier is set for a repeat bid in the €1,000,000 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday (15 August), as he headed 12 confirmations for the Group 1 feature over 1,600 metres after Wednesday’s forfeit stage.
Frankie Dettori will again be aboard Palace Pier, who has compiled an impressive eight wins from nine career starts and is unbeaten in 2021.
The four-year-old missed the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood with a minor injury but is reported by co-trainer Thady Gosden to be in good shape.
Gosden told the Racing Post: “Obviously it was frustrating to miss the Sussex Stakes with Palace Pier but he seems to have come back to himself and Frankie was very happy with him when he worked him last Saturday. He’s on course for the Jacques le Marois but it looks a competitive race with the likes of Poetic Flare in there.”
2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes winner Poetic Flare heads a strong entry of three-year-olds and could be joined by his stablemate Mac Swiney, who got the better of the argument when the two met on very soft ground at the Curragh in May.
1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth has also been left in the race at this stage by Aidan O’Brien and could bid to complete a Deauville Group 1 double 12 days after her success in the Prix Rothschild.
O’Brien also has the option of Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Order Of Australia, while Alpine Star will bid to go one better than when second behind Palace Pier in this race 12 months ago.
Andre Fabre is set to be doubly represented in a race he has won a record-equalling seven times, most recently in 2017 with Al Wukair.
Both Victor Ludorum and Midtown represent Godolphin, whose racing manager in France, Lisa-Jane Graffard said: “They are both intended runners with Mickael Barzalona due to ride Victor Ludorum and William Buick riding Midtown.
“Andre couldn’t be happier with both of them. We know Midtown handles soft ground if it were to rain, while Victor Ludorum would have reservations on very soft ground. But back over a straight mile, those reservations are less pertinent.”
Victor Ludorum won the Poule d’Essai des Poulains over this course and distance in June 2020 and made a winning debut in a Group 3 at Chantilly last month.
Midtown was considered by Fabre the best three-year-old this spring but suffered a minor setback. He ran well on his belated seasonal debut to be third in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat over 1,400 metres last month.