Ramatuelle in Deep Against the Boys in the Morny

Ramatuelle (left) Scoopdyga


One of only two French-trained juveniles in Sunday's G1 Sumbe Prix Morny at Deauville, Infinity Nine Horses' TDN Rising Star Ramatuelle (Justify) will need to draw on a significant amount of her abundant talent to maintain her sequence in one of the best renewals of the six-furlong feature in recent years. Out on her own at the end of Chantilly's G3 Prix du Bois and G2 Prix Robert Papin, the Christopher Head trainee now has to stand up to a collective of the best sprinting colts from Britain and Ireland on ground softer than she has encountered so far.

“We can't wait to go to the Morny with her and it has been part of the plan since the beginning,” Head said. “I think she's the type of horse who can box with this calibre of horse at this time in the season. There are going to be two fillies, two French horses and lots of good opposition, but she's doing fine and all the lights are green for the Morny.”

With the track hit by significant rain on Friday, ability to get through tacky ground is going to be a bonus and while race-fitness may be an issue following his minor setback, Ballydoyle's G2 Coventry S.-winning TDN Rising Star River Tiber (Ire) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) has at least proven that easy going is not a problem having won by 10 lengths on debut on soft at Navan in April.

Aidan O'Brien has his concerns, however. “He's good, I'm worried that he missed 10 days so he will run with a cloud over him,” he said. “I wouldn't be surprised at all if he did get tired. We are taking a chance on running him back, because if he doesn't run now he won't be out until the autumn. He came sounder quicker than we thought he would, he did a piece of work and that's why we let him take his chance, but there is a cloud over him. If he did run disappointing I wouldn't be surprised. He was lame for seven days, he came back sound but he missed all the work.”

It was soft when KHK Racing's Vandeek (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) won the G2 Richmond S. during a rain-afflicted Qatar Goodwood Festival and there is a concern that Clive Cox withdrew Al Mohamediya Racing's G2 July S. winner Jasour (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) from that race due to the ground. Karl Burke will have less worries about conditions for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum's Elite Status (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}), who bounced out of a third in the G2 Norfolk S. won by Valiant Force (Malibu Moon) to take the course-and-distance G3 Prix de Cabourg from the other French runner Sajir (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}).

Chris Wall, racing manager for KHK Racing, said of Vandeek, “We're not kidding ourselves, we know we're in at the deep end, but he's done nothing but improve and physically he is getting stronger all the time. The ground at Goodwood last time was very soft and while he coped with that, I think he will be better on a sounder surface. I think he's going to run a nice race.”

Clive Cox said of Jasour, “We were unhappy to run at Goodwood with a penalty in what was effectively heavy ground and with this race on the horizon it was a sensible manoeuvre not to run him there. We've been placed in the race since winning it with Reckless Abandon. Nando Parrado and Golden Horde ran well in the race, as well as Tis Marvellous. I'm just thrilled I have a horse of this calibre to be running in the race again and of course it would mean the world to be getting involved in the finish, which we hope he will.”

Rain Welcome For Via Sistina…

Connections of the G1 Pretty Polly S. heroine Via Sistina (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) were delighted to see the heavy rain ahead of the G1 Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet as she steps back up from a mile having been third in the G1 Falmouth S. at Newmarket's July Festival. In light of subsequent events, her six-length defeat of Al Husn (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in Newmarket's G2 Dahlia S. in May looks even better than it did at the time and trainer George Boughey is approaching Sunday's race with confidence. “She had a little break after the Falmouth and I slightly regret running her back over a mile in hindsight,” he said. “She's a filly who hit the line really well in the Pretty Polly and arguably might get further, but she was an even-money shot and it was definitely worth a go. She added another bit of group one black-type to her pedigree and I think you will see the real Via Sistina back up at 10 furlongs.”

Testing ground would probably not have been what Andre Fabre wanted for Baron Edouard De Rothschild's G1 Prix Rothschild winner Mqse De Sevigne (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}), who is back up in trip having relished that mile trip. The Aga Khan's Darkaniya (Fr) (Frankel {GB}) had beaten her in Chantilly's 10 1/2-furlong Listed Prix de la Pepiniere last month and may be better suited to this test, while TDN Rising Star Above The Curve (American Pharoah) had Mqse De Sevigne two lengths in arrears in the G2 Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud in May. The trouble for her is that she failed to land a blow on Via Sistina in the Pretty Polly and couldn't handle Al Husn in Goodwood's G1 Nassau S. so like everything else is up against it tryin again to stop the Hillens' star mare.

Jannah Rose Back In Action…

Also at Deauville, the 10-furlong G2 Sumbe Prix Alec Head sees the G1 Prix Saint-Alary heroine Jannah Rose (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) re-emerge following her disappointing effort in the G1 Prix de Diane. That also applies to the G3 Prix Penelope-winning TDN Rising Star Pensee Du Jour (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), one of the first of the Wildenstein-bred horses to run in the Wertheimer colours following their acquisition of the organisation's bloodstock.

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