Casts Announced For Deauville Classics

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Victor Ludorum | Scoop Dyga

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By way of some twists and turns of fate, Monday's two mile French Classics will return to Deauville's straight track and Friday's declaration stage saw a total of 21 protagonists engaged across the G1 Emirates Poule d'Essai des Poulains and Pouliches.

Of the nine set to line up in the Poulains, Andre Fabre has Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' Victor Ludorum (GB) (Shamardal), Corinna Baronin Von Ullmann's Alson (Ger) (Areion {Ger}) and Coolmore's Arapaho (Fr) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), with the former the expected outright favourite at this juncture. Only third behind Jacques Cygler's The Summit (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) and the Wertheimers' Ecrivain (Fr) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) in ParisLongchamp's G3 Prix de Fontainebleau on May 11, Victor Ludorum will be assisted by drying conditions and Mickael Barzalona in the saddle as he bids to get back to the level of his G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winning form.

Godolphin's Lisa-Jane Graffard is aware of the task ahead for the operation's representative and of the magnitude of the occasion within the current situation. “Victor Ludorum has done really well since his run in the Fontainebleau, but he will nevertheless need to leave that run behind him and be able to perform up to his best on Monday,” she said. “While he is the highest-rated horse in the race, he faces several rivals who have shown the potential to deliver a Group 1-winning performance and none can be discounted, making this a very competitive renewal. Before the horses go to post it's worth paying tribute to everyone in the industry who has worked so hard to look after the horses, and to ensure a safe resumption of racing.”

Mickael Barzalona will be the rider most eager about getting the weekend out of the way, as he also partners Lady Bamford's Tropbeau (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) for Fabre in the Pouliches. Her success in the G3 Prix de la Grotte also at ParisLongchamp on May 11 was gained a shade cosily at the expense of Haras du Logis Saint Germain's re-opposing Dream and Do (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}) and Heike Bischoff-Lafrentz's Tickle Me Green (Ger) (Sea the Moon {Ger}) and she will start a warm order for the fillies' Classic. Tropbeau's straight-track experience at this Normandy venue also boosts her claims, having beaten Cuadra Mediterraneo's subsequent G1 Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up Marieta (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) in the seven-furlong G2 Prix du Calvados at the August festival, and she has an ideal middle draw in six. His Highness The Aga Khan's unbeaten Simeen (Fr) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), who is drawn 11 of the 12 runners, was kept away from the Grotte and sent instead for a confidence-building outing in Chantilly's Prix de la Pistole conditions event by Jean-Claude Rouget over this mile trip on May 13. Her inclusion puts an intriguing spin on one of Europe's two opening salvos of the Classic season during a tumultuous year.

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