There is plenty of British and Irish representation at Deauville this afternoon on a high-quality card that features a pair of Group One events plus a couple of Group Two races.
The Prix Morny at 2.45 is dominated by familiar names and Michael Bell’s Pretty Pollyanna heads the market under Silvestre De Sousa, following her seven-length victory in the Duchess Of Cambridge at Newmarket’s July Meeting.
Queen Mary winner Signora Cabello has already gained Group race success in France by taking the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte from a couple of her rivals and figures one of the big dangers, alongside progressive Richmond Stakes winner Land Force.
In the Group Two Prix Kergorlay (1.35) Hughie Morrison’s Marmelo looks to land the hat-trick following wins at York and Longchamp, while in the Group Two Prix de Pomone (4.00) the British challenge of God Given, Crimson Rosette and Precious Ramotswe take on a strong home team in a very competitive renewal.
The Prix Jean Romanet (3.20) is the other race that carries Group One status on the card and proven top-level performer Bateel is one of my four selections, alongside three from Pontefract You can see how all of my tip get on live on Racing UK.
There is a danger that Tor gets an easy time of things in front in this 12-furlong contest and gets away on this front-runner’s track, but Franny Norton is rarely caught napping and regular prominent-racer Lynwood Gold can hopefully get a good early position.
Having started the season in Listed company, Lynwood Gold has since contested some competitive handicaps restricted to three-year-olds and ran his best race for a while at Goodwood last time.
This race represents a drop in grade off a falling mark and I am hoping that provides the tonic for a return to form and sends Mark Johnston into the history books as the trainer with more winners than any other.
The three-year-old Dagueneau won very easily at Beverley in the week and may well take a lot of stopping here but he looks a shade too short, given this represents a tougher task in terms of both depth of race and stamina on a quick turn-around.
With that in mind it may be worth having a small bet on Becky The Thatcher, a proven stayer with a good record at the track.
Second to Suegioo, who was on a lengthy losing run but also an attractive mark at the course last time, Micky Hammond’s mare has been in great form this season.
She still looks feasibly handicapped off a mark just 1lb higher than last time and 5lbs higher than for her course and distance win in June.
A winner in Group Two company on this card last year, Bateel then went on to prove herself at the highest level with success in the Prix Vermeille and a second place finish to Hydrangea in the Fillies & Mares race on Champions Day at Ascot.
She looked every bit as good when making a winning return at Saint-Cloud in May and is the class act in the field.
Although she has not been seen since May due to the prolonged spell of hot weather this summer, she has a good record fresh and can be expected to give her running under what will be optimum conditions.
Van Gerwen rarely runs a bad race when sent to Pontefract and from a good draw in stall three I think it is worth taking a chance he bounces back to form at a decent price.
His form figures at this track read 4544210212 and he is now back to the same mark as for his last win which came at the course in October.
His reduced mark means he is able to contest the lowest grade of race he has featured in for a while and though his yard have been a bit quiet in the past few weeks and ground conditions would ideally be a bit softer I think his price looks a shade too big.
Round The Island also likes it at the course and comes from a stable hitting form and may be worth keeping on side.
Chris Dixon's Sunday best bets: