Deauville: Can Art Power Prevail In The Maurice De Gheest?

Art Power | Getty Images

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Always talented but frustratingly for King Power Racing just below what is required at the top level in his native England, Art Power (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) has made successful overseas raids his main business and the travel-hungry sprinter is a notable first-timer at Deauville on Sunday for the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest. Five trips to Ireland have resulted in a 100% win record, with The Curragh's G2 Greenlands S. and G2 Sapphire S. among this year's tally so it will be fascinating to see if his debut outing in France yields the same return.

King Power's racing manager Alastair Donald said of the Tim Easterby-trained 6-year-old, “He's got his favoured ground and he's thriving at the moment. He seems to love travelling and in French conditions we feel six and a half furlongs shouldn't be a problem–he actually ran pretty well last year over seven at York. The style of racing in France should really suit us, as he might be able to dominate and this is possibly his best chance ever to win a Group 1.”

If Art Power's love of overseas travel is confined to Ireland, there are a few among the 70% British representation that could take advantage. They include the Karl Burke-trained G3 Pavilion S. winner Cold Case (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) and G3 Prix de Ris-Orangis scorer Spycatcher (Ire) (Vadamos {Fr}). The latter was impressive in that six-furlong contest here last month and Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's managing director Harry Herbert hopes they have spotted an opportunity with this being one of the weakest renewals in years.

“It's a rather unique race obviously, in that it's run over six and a half furlongs and that would be his ideal trip,” he said. “He's been such a fun horse, he was so impressive last time and having thought he might be retired last year with a little issue he had, he now seems to be better than ever. The turnaround has been incredible for his shareholders, he's been very well trained by Karl and it's amazing to be heading over to Deauville for a group one.”

 

A Wide-Open German Oaks

Also on Sunday, Dusseldorf stage the 165th running of the G1 Henkel-Preis der Diana with no obvious standout among the 14 protagonists. As ever, the draw will play a part with only two winners having come from double-figure stalls in the last 10 renewals. Gestut Rottgen's impressive G3 Hoppegarten Diana Trial winner Kassada (Ger) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) who was subsequently second in the G3 Hamburger Stutenpreis at Hamburg last month is drawn against the fence, while Stall Golden Goal's G3 Hamburg Stuten-Meile scorer Muskoka (Ger) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) is in four as she steps up markedly in trip. Gestut Ebbesloh's G1 Deutsches Derby third Weracruz (Ger) (Cracksman {GB}) has the major disadvantage of being in stall 13, while the French raider, the G3 Prix Vanteaux runner-up Sea The Lady (Fr) (Sea The Moon {Ger}), is in 11. Sunday's other key contest is the G3 Prix Daphnis back at Deauville, where Juddmonte's unbeaten Andre Fabre-trained colt Colombier (GB) (Kingman {GB}) reappears after a break having beaten his re-opposing subsequent Listed Prix de Saint-Patrick-winning stablemate Mr Moliere (GB) (Kingman {GB}) in a ParisLongchamp conditions event in May.

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