It’s summer, it’s sizzling hot, and it’s Deauville. Can you think of a better place to be? The visitors have certainly enjoyed their time by the beach in France over the last few years in this group 1 because four of the last five runnings of the July 10 Haras d’Etreham Prix Jean Prat (G1) have gone their way.
Thunder Snow, Too Darn Hot, Pinatubo and last year Laws of Indices have been successful for British and Irish trainers and the market strongly hints another away win is on the cards.
Charlie Appleby saddled Pinatubo two years ago and has the most likely winner, with Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner (G1) and Qatar Prix du Jockey Club (G1) third Modern Games the race favorite.
He was no match for Vadeni at Chantilly, but the winner won last week’s Coral-Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown and Modern Games probably did well to finish third given quite a lot went against him in that race. He had a wide draw in stall 13 and wouldn’t have been ideally suited by the soft ground.
The big question here is the drop to seven furlongs. Modern Games was strong at the finish in the Poulains and appeared to stay a mile and a quarter last time. Will this test of speed suit?
Modern Games drops three and a half furlongs in trip for the Deauville group 1, but Appleby is confident he can give him, jockey William Buick, and Godolphin a second win in three years.
Appleby said: “We have been delighted with Modern Games going into this. He clearly didn’t stay the extended ten furlongs in the Prix du Jockey Club.
“Dropping back to seven furlongs might appear extreme, but he’s a strong-traveling horse. He looks to be in the same condition as when he won the French Guineas and that level of form will make him very competitive.”
Tenebrism should find that sort of examination ideal. She was quick enough to beat Commonwealth Cup (G1) third Flotus over six furlongs in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (G1) last year and has traveled well through her races over a mile this year, without quite seeing them out as she might have. She was fourth last out over the mile trip in the Coronation Stakes (G1) behind Inspiral .
“She seems to be in good form since her last run in the Coronation Stakes,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said of Tenebrism. “We’re coming down in trip here so it’ll be interesting to see how she gets on, although we were happy with her run over a mile at Ascot. She was a little bit green on the bend there, so we’ll see how she gets on over this straighter track.”
Connections of Lusail believe he is cherry-ripe to pick up a breakthrough top-level success following his narrow defeat in the St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot last month.
Racing manager Alison Begley said: “He doesn’t know how to run a bad race. He’s done very little wrong in his career. He won two group 2’s over six furlongs last year, so he’s not short of speed.
“It’s always been the plan since his great run in the St James’s Palace Stakes. He’s very versatile, so stepping back in trip will be no problem.”