France: #DarleySeries Sees Europe’s Best 2yos
The toast of Europe’s new generation is meeting in Deauville in the Darley Prix Morny (Gr1), final leg of the #DarleySeries. Nine 2-year-old colts and fillies have been confirmed on the 6 furlongs straight course. Naturally there are the winners of the two previous #DarleySeries, namely Signora Cabello (Camacho), winner of the Darley Prix Robert Papin (Gr2) at Maisons-Laffitte, and Comedy (Dandy Man), who has just won the Prix Darley de Cabourg (Gr3) in Deauville.
There are also two leading speedsters from Ireland with Land Force (No Nay Never), who won the Richmond Richmond Stakes (Gr2) at Goodwood last time out, and So Perfect (Scat Daddy), second in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes ( Gr1) at the Curragh. Pretty Pollyanna (Oasis Dream) has just won a group 2 at Newmarket by seven lengths and has planned a raid in Normandy since then.
The French side relies on Sexy Metro (Diamond Green) and Simply Striking (Kheleyf), respectively second and fifth in the Darley Prix Robert Papin, only beaten a neck and a length over a slightly shorter trip.
A new Gallic success, seven years after that of Dabirsim in the same race, is not excluded.
Darley, which represents the breeding interests of Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, emir of Dubai, also sponsors the 3 other group races of the day, that is the Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Gr1), the Darley Prix de Pomone (Gr2) and the Darley Prix Kergorlay (Gr2). Ten mares gather in the former with Bateel (Dubawi), winner the Prix Corrida (Gr2) for her return, facing the tough Gr1 winners Rhododendron (Galileo) and Urban Fox (Foxwedge), among others.
The event is named in memory of Auguste de Morny (1811–1865), the founder of Deauville Racecourse. It was established in 1865, and it was originally called the Prix de Morny. The inaugural race was over 1,000 metres, and the prize for the winning owner was 9,150 francs.
The second and third runnings of the Prix de Morny were contested over 1,200 metres. It was extended to 1,300 metres in 1868, and to 1,400 metres in 1870.
The race became known as the Prix de Deux Ans in 1871, and its distance was cut to 1,200 metres in 1887. It was renamed the Prix Morny, a shortened version of its original title, in 1911.
The Prix Morny was abandoned from 1914 to 1918, and again in 1940. Its usual venue was closed during World War II, so it was held temporarily at Longchamp (1941–42, 1944) and Maisons-Laffitte (1943, 1945). The first two editions at Longchamp were run over 1,000 metres, and the 1944 running was contested over 1,300 metres.
The event opened to foreign horses in 1947, and that year’s race was won by a British colt named Delirium. An earlier spell as an international race (1875 to 1908) had yielded no foreign winners.