Maurice de Gheest Headlines on Sunday

Naval Crown | Dhric AK

Deauville hosts its second Group 1 contest of the August festival on Sunday, with the 6 1/2-furlong ARC Prix Maurice de Gheest representing a niche for the staying sprinters of which Godolphin's Naval Crown (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) is prominent. Coming of age this term with success in Royal Ascot's G1 Platinum Jubilee S. June 18, he beat everything that re-opposed from that contest again in Newmarket's G1 July Cup July 9 only to find Alcohol Free (Ire) (No Nay Never) too strong. Some of them are here too, but this is a new challenge with several new rivals entering the mix in a race in which he was only eighth on contrasting testing ground 12 months ago. Charlie Appleby is happy that the surface will be different this time. “We know that conditions in France are there to suit–he loves quick ground and has run well over seven furlongs in the past. Based on his form this year, he looks the one to beat,” he said.


How Far Can Harry Go?

If there is one with the capability of reaching these heights in one swoop it is Clive Cox Racing's Harry Three (GB) (Adaay {Ire}), who looked every bit in the mold of some of his trainer's better sprinters when taking the Listed Prix Kistena over six furlongs here July 10. That was a step up from his win in a competitive York handicap June 11 and there is no telling where his limit lies. “He's progressing quickly, but this is a huge step up,” Cox said. “He's full of confidence and he's shown solid form on the track. He's travelled and arrived early and the journey went well which I'm pleased about, given the complications that can arise with that at the moment. He's growing up all the time and becoming more experienced and I think he deserves this step up.” Last year's G2 Prix du Calvados winner Accakaba (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) is another intriguing prospect among the 3-year-olds, with her strong closing effort when fourth in this venue's seven-furlong G1 Prix Jean Prat marking her as a talented performer July 10.


Minzaal's Time?

   Shadwell's history with top sprinters is a rich one and the latest big gun among them could be the Owen Burrows-trained Minzaal (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), who has taken a while to deliver on the deep promise of his 2-year-old campaign but who seemed to come of age last time when beating Go Bears Go (Ire) (Kodi Bear {Ire}) in the G3 Hackwood S. at Newbury July 16. “He's come out of Newbury great–there is another month until the Haydock Sprint Cup, so this fits in nicely,” his trainer said. “He was very strong at the end at Newbury, so I don't feel the extra half-furlong will hinder him at all. He's been Group 1-placed at two and Group 1-placed at three, so it would be lovely if he can get his head in front for one.”


Toy Takes Aim At Dusseldorf Classic

Narrowly denied in the Irish Oaks, Ballydoyle's Toy (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) takes to Dusseldorf to gain compensation in the G1 Henkel Preis der Diana and augment the remarkable record of top-level winners out of her dam You'resothrilling (Storm Cat). Heading the home defence is Stall Nizza's June 19 G2 Oaks d'Italia winner Nachtrose (Ire) (Australia {GB}), whose half-sister Nightflower (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}) was second in this in 2015, and Gestut Rottgen's July 3 G3 Mehl Mulhens-Trophy scorer Well Disposed (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), a half-sister to the G1 Deutsches Derby hero Windstoss (Ger) (Shirocco {Ger}).

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