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Prix Maurice De Gheest – French Sprint Group 1 Runner-By-Runner

Perfect Power

You will struggle to find a better juvenile Group 1 this year than the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. The super six who make up the field are analysed below, alongside SkyBet‘s latest offer where new customers can claim £30 In Free Bets when placing any bet.

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AMILCAR (Alessandro & Giuseppe Botti, Theo Bachelot) 28/1

Ran twice in England earlier this year when competitive enough on the all-weather at Wolverhampton and Newcastle. Those were over 7f an 1m though and though he has won twice at Listed level in his home country. Both of those were over further as well, as he has never raced at a trip as short as this, so a lot to prove in that sense and on form.

ROHAAN (David Evans, Adam Kirby) 18/1

Habitual slow starter and hold-up horse who is immensely talented when he gets things right. Won two successive runnings of the Wokingham, as well as the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes as a three-year-old last season. Out of form from October to May, but bounced back under a peach of a ride from Ryan Moore at Royal Ascot. Ran respectably from the back again in Group 3 company at Newbury latest, but still needs to show more at this level. Only ninth in this race last year.



Today’s Racing

NAVAL CROWN (Charlie Appleby, James Doyle) 3/1

Godolphin runner who shot to prominence when winning the Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes at 33/1 in June. James Doyle took the ride that day and did superbly well to win given he was possibly on the wrong side of the track. Only gunned down by Alcohol Free in the July Cup at the top tier since and looks to have found his home over this trip having mostly been campaigned over 7f and 1m previously. Likely to be a big contender again.

GARRUS (Charles Hills, Ioritz Mendizabal) 20/1

Admirable grey who has not won in the UK since March 2021, but has two wins from two starts when racing in France. Clearly likes this track over 6f, as he has scored in good style on both occasions, the first of which was under this jockey. This race is quite a bit harder and he was only 21st in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes so he has plenty to overturn, but could find himself in with an each-way chance at this venue.

MINZAAL (Owen Burrows, Jim Crowley) 17/2

Group 2 winner as a juvenile when winning York’s Gimcrack Stakes in good style. Had some issues since, as only seen twice as a three-year-old, though the latter of those saw him run a great race to be third in the Group 1 British Champions’ Sprint at Ascot. Only mid-division when contesting the Platinum Jubilee Stakes over that same course and distance, but bounced back when winning Newbury’s Group 3 Hackwood Stakes latest. May have needed a few runs to get to full fitness and not discounted.



NAMOS (Dominik Moser, Wladimir Panov) 50/1

Group 3 winner on three occasions in Germany in 2020. Unsuccessful sojourns to Britain in that calendar year highlight that he struggles against other Europeans and was stone last in the 2021 edition of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Third at Longchamp last time was more than a decent effort, but he is well up against it in this company.

ARTORIUS (Anthony & Sam Freedman, Jamie Spencer) 9/2

Australian raider often found at least one too good in his homeland before a summer campaign here in England. Has been third in a pair of Group 1s here as well, getting going too late on both occasions. Possibly unlucky not to get a clear run until late in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, but was simply never making up the ground in the July Cup when behind Naval Crown. Would not be a surprise if he did soon come good, but difficult to side with him over the Godolphin horse at the moment.

HIGHFIELD PRINCESS (John Quinn, Jason Hart) 8/1

Hugely improved filly who won the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes in very taking fashion back in May. Had run a number of decent races in Group company prior, but that signalled that she has continued to improve as a five-year-old. Was bang there too in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes when sixth and not beaten far, so if her trainer can eke out even a little extra improvement, she will be right in the mix again.



PERFECT POWER (Richard Fahey, Christophe Soumillon) 4/1

Three-year-old who very rarely runs a bad race and has excuses for a his two “blots” this term. Was twice a Group 1 winner, including at Deauville, as a two-year-old and claimed a third top level success when a bold winner of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. That was against his own age group and initial reaction to July Cup seventh thereafter would have been one of disappointment given he was favourite, but he can be forgiven one bad run and he may not quite have had the best draw.

HARRY THREE (Clive Cox, Kieran Shoemark) 7/1

Riding the crest of a wave for Clive Cox after completing a hat-trick last time out. Started the season with three defeats in handicaps off marks in the 80s, which goes to show how far he has come in a short space of time. Won well in handicaps at both Newmarket and York, before travelling over to Deauville for a Listed race at the start of July. He absolutely bolted up that day and is improving at a rate of knots, so has to be taken very seriously.

KING HERMES (Yoshito Yahagi, Ryusei Sakai) 50/1

Japanese raider is a Group 2 winner in his own country over 7f and was also sixth in the NHK Mile Cup, a Group 1 at Tokyo. Trainer made an ambitious tilt at the July Cup last month and though his charge was far from disgraced, he could finish only 11th of 13. Needs quite a lot more against similar company and no surprise about his price.



KINGENTLEMAN (Pia & Joakim Brandt, Gregory Benoist) 66/1

Three-year-old was a big improver over the winter, to the point he could take on Pattern assignments. Well-beaten on the first three of those, so it was definitely something of a shock when he pulled a Group 3 out of the bag at Chantilly in May. Had Group 1 winning juvenile Ebro River in behind him that day and form is not bad, albeit he has to do it again before being taken seriously in this very strong line-up.

ARTORIUS (Anthony & Sam Freedman, Jamie Spencer) 9/2

Australian raider often found at least one too good in his homeland before a summer campaign here in England. Has been third in a pair of Group 1s here as well, getting going too late on both occasions. Possibly unlucky not to get a clear run until late in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, but was simply never making up the ground in the July Cup when behind Naval Crown. Would not be a surprise if he did soon come good, but difficult to side with him over the Godolphin horse at the moment.

ACCAKABA (Christophe Ferland, Maxime Guyon) 22/1

Won her first four starts as a juvenile and looked a filly going places. She claimed a Listed event at La teste De Buch before winning the Group 2 Prix Du Calvados at Deauville over 7f on soft ground in that spell. Her juvenile season ended with a competitive fourth in Group 1 company and her last run followed suit in the Prix Jean Prat. Has a sprinting pedigree so step back in trip a potential positive and may be best of the home team.

MIRAMAR (C & Y Lerner, Ronan Thomas) 40/1

Ran a really good race in the Commonwealth Cup when raiding from France. 125/1 fifth that day to Perfect Power having arrived off the back of a Group 3 success at Chantilly earlier this year. Has certainly improved as a three-year-old on balance and may yet improve more. Still has a lot to find with Perfect Power, so looks an unlikely winner however.

Verdict

This is a great race and while Naval Power is greatly respected, a chance is worth taking on the upwardly mobile HARRY THREE has improved beyond recognition on his last three starts. Garrus, who has enjoyed success on his two runs at Deauville, could be a goo play each-way.



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