Preview of Sunday’s G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois, the race won by Goldikova

French horse racing blurrGroup 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois – Sunday at Deauville, France

Sunday’s Prix Jacques le Marois is a Group One contest over the 1600m distance for colts and fillies aged three years or older at Deauville, with a prize pool of $1M. This race, which typically has Breeders’ Cup implications, was named after Jacques le Marois, who was President of the Deauville racecourse committee.

Three-year-olds have an excellent record in the Deauville carnival highlight. They are in receipt of 2.5kg from their older rivals, which has proved to be a notable advantage in recent years.

Seven three-year-olds have triumphed in the previous ten seasons, including a pair of three-year-old fillies. Three-year-old fillies hold the greatest edge receiving an additional 1.5kg weight allowance and those from that category to have won this prestigious prize include Immortal Verse (2011) and Alpha Centauri (2018).

Dual Group One winner Poetic Flare (Dawn Approach) looks to be the standout three-year-old, attempting to dethrone Palace Pier (Kingman) after his determined victory in this race last term. Another eyecatching contender is three-year-old filly Mother Earth (Zoffany), who won the G1 Prix Rothschild (1600m) over course and distance at the start of this month.

Palace Pier 

Winner of this race in 2020, Palace Pier has only been defeated once in his nine race career. He has been a comfortable winner of all three starts in 2021 including the G1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Ascot and is the horse to beat again.

Victor Ludorum

Victor Ludorum was the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m) champion in 2020 and was back to winning ways when scoring by three lengths in the G3 Prix Messidor (1600m) at Chantilly on 18 July. His confidence will be boosted by that success, and he is very capable of a big performance at the top level.

Order of Australia

Order of Australia surprised many when out-running long odds to win the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile (1600m) at Keeneland in November. He has not shown the same level of form since despite winning the G2 Minstrel Stakes (1400m) at the Curragh in July and would need to prove he can replicate.

Ecrivain

Fourth in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m) in 2020, Ecrivan has always demonstrated a fair level of ability. He bounced back with a win in the G3 Prix Bertrand du Breuil (1600m) at Chantilly in late June but may struggle back in Group One company.

Alpine Star

Alpine Star is looking to emulate her half-sister Alpha Centauri, winner of the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois (1600m) in 2018. She defeated a good field of Classic fillies in the G1 Coronation Stakes (1600m) at Royal Ascot in 2020 and subsequently finished runner up in the G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) at Chantilly. She also finished second in last year’s renewal of this race.  She was a narrow second in the Listed Lyric Fillies’ Stakes (2050m) on reappearance at York in late July and is expected to improve for the run.

Poetic Flare  

Poetic Flare has demonstrated toughness and tenacity during his Classic campaign. He started with a success in the G1 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Newmarket before a sixth in the French equivalent and was narrowly defeated by his stable-mate Mac Swiney in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas (1600m). There was a return to winning ways in the G1 St James’ Palace Stakes (1600m) at Royal Ascot and he produced another bold effort when second against the older horses in the G1 Sussex Stakes (1600m). The Dawn Approach colt can never be ignored at the top level.

Colosseo 

Unable to win since his juvenile debut in September 2020, Colosseo has produced some big efforts at the top level including a second in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m). It would be a big ask to defeat the leading contenders.

Midtown 

Midtown took a considerable step up in class when third in the G1 Prix Jean Prat (1400m) and is open to further progression after only three starts. He is an unknown quantity in a field of experienced rivals.

Chindit

Winner of the G2 Vintage Stakes (1410m) at Glorious Goodwood as a juvenile, Chindit has struggled to break through at Group One level despite two solid fifths in G1 2000 Guineas (1600m) and G1 St James’ Palace Stakes (1600m). Improvement would be required.

Mother Earth  

Mother Earth continued to add further success to her glittering three-year-old CV, winning the G1 Prix Rothschild (1600m) at the start of the month. She has not finished out of the top three all year and cannot be ignored.

Past winners of the Prix Jacques Le Marois include: Palace Pier (2020), Alpha Centauri (2018), Ribchester (2016), Kingman (2014), Moonlight Cloud (2013), Excelebration (2012), Makfi (2010), Goldikova (2009), Manduro (2007), Dubawi (2005), Six Perfections (2003), Banks Hill (2002), Dubai Millennium (1999), Spinning World (1996 and 1997), East Of The Moon (1994), Sayyedati (1993), Miesque (1987/1988), Lianga (1975), Nonoalco (1974), Hula Dancer (1963), Pearl Cap (1931) and Sir Gallahad (1923).

Source: French PMU

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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