The third major event on this holiday Thursday’s program in Deauville, the Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club (Gr3) is open to aged horses over 1m2f. Leading performers such as Vision d’État, Cirrus des Aigles, New Bay and Talismanic who won the event recently. The race conditions allow former top performers to run at level weight as long as they didn’t win or placed at Group-level this year.
This is exactly the profile of Olmedo (Declaration of War), the best rating in the race. Owned by Antonio Caro and Gerard Augustin-Normand, the QIPCO Jockey Club (French Derby, Gr1) winner in 2018 has repeatedly failed afterwards. Kept aside a few months, he has placed twice over the mile this season but finished almost last in the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr1) at Royal Ascot.
This new test over a longer distance is a lifesaver. A colourful coalition faces him with horses from the South of France, the South West, England, Czech Republic and Denmark.
The first three home in the Grand Prix de Vichy (Gr3), over on the same distance, meet again. At the end of a tactical race and a “steal” from his rider Christophe Soumillon, the Marseilles-trained Diamond Vendome (Style Vendome) beat Soleil Marin (Kendargent) and Royal Julius (Royal Applause) that evening. The first two give three pounds to the filed this time because of this performance. Second yo Impulsif in the Prix Messidor (Gr3) over the mile, Trais Fluors (Dansili) returns over 1m2f, but he is one of the safest bets in this open race.
Note also the presence of the Czech 7yo Subway Dancer (Shamardal), fifth at Vichy and overall disappointing this season, and the Danish-trained King David (Elusive City), a recent winner of the Grand Prix of Hamburg (Gr3), owing him a 3lbs penalty here. Conversely, the English raider Mountain Angel (Dark Angel) receives 2lbs for not having finished in the three first home in a Group race this season. According to Timeform, even with this allowance, he still has three pounds to find to beat Trais Fluors. The only female of the lot, Tresorière (Intello), owned by Ecurie Vivaldi, has just won her first Listed-event at Le Lion d’Angers on this distance. She is trying her luck at a higher level in this but this opportunity is too good to be missed.
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