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Prix Jacques le Marois preview

The best race in the world this weekend undoubtedly takes place at Deauville in France. The premier milers in Europe, and probably the world apart from Wise Dan, go to post this afternoon at 1445 BST. Special thanks to Martin Pennington, @quevega, and the GallopsLive website for allowing me to use their excellent preview.

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Sunday’s feature in France is the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois ( 2.45pm ), here is Martin Pennington’s horse by horse guide to the big race:

1. Aljamaheer – Sheikh Hamdan’s number one contender and the mount of his retained jockey in the UK Paul Hanagan. This Roger Varian trained son of Dubawi scored in a Group 2 event over this trip at Ascot last time out and though he’s consistently in the frame they have generally come in weaker races than this and a minor placing looks the best he can hope for.

2. Burwaaz – The second of Sheikh Hamdan’s runners and the pacemaker for Aljamaheer. Ed Dunlop’s charge ran well in handicap company in the Stewards Cup last time out at Goodwood but will more than likely fade from halfway here.

3. Indian Sly – This veteran performer has scored six times in his forty two race career thus far but none of those have come at group level and he finished well beaten in last weekends Prix Maurice de Gheest and a similar outcome is likely here.

4. Nova Neyev – Another outsider to contest the big Group 1 sprint last weekend Nova Neyev finished one place behind Indian Sly and this one hasn’t won since scoring in a seven thousand euro claimer nearly two years ago and is highly unlikely to be winning this.

5. Declaration Of War – This ex-French trained colt scored for the first time at the highest level in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes back in June, since when he’s been beaten over ten furlongs in Sandown’s Eclipse Stakes and finished third to top three year olds Toronado and Dawn Approach (re-opposes here) at Goodwood just eleven days ago.

6. Prince d’Alienor – A regular in group and conditions races over this trip in recent seasons for Andre Fabre and the Wertheimer brothers, this son of Verglas finished fourth to Intello in the Group 3 Prix Messidor last month but is in here primarily as pacemaker for his aforementioned stablemate.

7. Moonlight Cloud – Won the Prix Maurice de Gheest for the third year in succession here over the extended six furlongs last weekend and proved she stays a mile when winning the Prix Moulin last September. She finished fourth in this last year and a true run mile may not be entirely to her liking.

8. Elusive Kate – Has a tremendous record here having won on four of her five visits to the track. Took the Group 1 Prix Rothschild against her own sex here when last seen in action at the end of July and prior to that had taken a controversial victory in Newmarket’s Falmouth Stakes earlier that month. Is held by Declaration Of War and Aljamaheer on Royal Ascot running but has drawn the plum rail draw at her favourite track.

9. Olympic Glory – A leading juvenile last season where his victories included the Grand Criterium over seven furlongs at Longchamp on Arc weekend. The Richard Hannon trained son of Choisir scored in Newbury’s Greenham Stakes over seven furlongs on his return to action in April but hasn’t been seen in action since finishing down the field in the Guineas at Longchamp. Yet to prove he stays a mile and this is a tough spot to return in.

10. Leitir Mor – Possibly went off too quickly in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood at the end of last month and dropped out rapidly when acting as pacemaker for Dawn Approach that day. He’s fulfilling a similar role in this race and is again likely to finish nearer last than first.

11. Dawn Approach – A tough three year old this Godolphin owned colt was tasting defeat for the first time over a mile or shorter when finishing runner-up to Toronado at Goodwood in the Sussex Stakes. He was Champion Juvenile in 2012 following a success in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket and he also took the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, likely to prove hard to beat here.

12. Peace At Last – One of the more intriguing runners here as having scored in the German Guineas at Cologne in May met with plenty of trouble in running in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly back in June and having taken a while to get the hang of racing he could be the dark horse here.

13. Intello – Has taken something of an unorthodox route to this race scoring over nine furlongs at Newmarket on his return to action prior to placing in Longchamp’s Guineas and winning the Prix Du Jockey Club over the extended ten furlongs at Chantilly. The drop back to a mile and penalty held no problems for him at Maisons-Laffitte next time out and he should take all the beating here.

Verdict
A strong run race is likely to suit Intello more than most and he can come out on top here with Dawn Approach and Elusive Kate chasing him home. Of the remainder Peace At Last looks likely to outrun his odds and can make the frame should anything happen to the principals.

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Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
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