A field of seven line up in Sunday’s Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois (Gr1) with Palace Pier the early betting favorite at 5-4 with Persian King the current second choice at 4-1.
The race is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) held this November at Keeneland.
Five of the seven starters confirmed Sunday at Deauville at the start of the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois (Gr1) won a Group, totalling nine wins at this level. Despite the various and varied restrictions, despite a chaotic start to the season on both sides of the Channel, the great milers’ championship hosted by the Deauville straight for the 99th year brought together the best milers of all generations.
Among the 3-year-olds, we find Alpine Star (Sea the Moon), winner of the Coronation Stakes (Gr1) then second in the Prix de Diane Longines (Gr1), and Palace Pier (Kingman), winner at the Royal Ascot meeting of the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Gr1).
Among aged horses, we find the defending champion Romanized (Holy Roman Emperor), the double Group 1 winner Circus Maximus (Galileo), recent second in the Sussex Stakes (Gr1) at Goodwood, Persian King (Kingman), who has just brilliantly returned to success over 9 furlongs in the Prix d’Ispahan (Gr1), and his runner-up previously of the Prix du Muguet (Gr2), Pretreville (Acclamation).
A recent winner of the Prix de Saint-Patrick (L) over this distance, the 3-year-old Restiany (Frankel) is thrown as an outsider in this clash of titans, a kind of “Arc” for milers in Deauville.
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Trained in Chantilly, winner of the Prix du Point du Jour – Haras de Bouquetot (L) at Craon in September, he subsequently changed trainer and started for his new yard in the Prix Bertrand du Breuil (Gr3), which he won easily, by 3.5 lengths after leading the whole race, for his debut at the Group level. He then pushed Persian King to the wire, taking second place in the Prix du Muguet (Gr2).
Trained in Chantilly, bred by one of his owners, he was considered one of the most promising 2-year-olds in Europe after winning a Group 2 at Newmarket. He actually won the Prix de Fontainebleau (Gr3) at 3 and then the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Gr1). Second to Sottsass in the Prix du Jockey Club (Gr1), he did not run again for a year. Rather disappointing for his comeback, since he was beaten in the Prix de Montretout (L) over one mile, he redeemed himself in the Prix du Muguet (Gr2) and confirmed in the Prix d’Ispahan (Gr1).
Trained in Ireland, bred by his owners, he won his first Group 1 last year at 3 in the St James’s Palace Stakes (Gr1) after failing in the Epsom Derby. A tough horse, he then took second place in this race in 2019 and later won in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Gr1) beating Romanised, who had beat him at Deauville. Again a winner at Ascot at the royal meeting this season, he was a gallant second in the Sussex Stakes (Gr1), where he conceded less than a length to Mohaather.
Trained in Ireland, winner at 3 of the Two Thousand Guineas in Ireland (Gr1), then of this race last year before being beaten by Circus Maximus in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Gr1), he no longer has then run but has just made a victorious comeback at the Curragh in the Minstrel Stakes (Gr2) over 1,600 meters in sticky terrain.
Trained in England, sold for £ 600,000 at the Newmarket sales, he is unbeaten in four outings including one last at the Ascot Royal Meeting, where he defeated Pinatiubo over the mile in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Gr1).
Trained in Anjou, bred by his owner, he has just won his first Listed race from start to finish at Saint-Cloud and clearly faces better rivals here.
Trained in Ireland, bred by her owners, she won three of her five races including the Coronation Stakes (Gr1) at the Royal Ascot meeting before taking second place in the Prix de Diane Longines (Gr1) just a short head from Fancy Blue. She is, in theory, the best rated in this race with Palace Pier.