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A’Ali follows up Norfolk Stakes victory in Prix Robert Papin

Sun 21 Jul 2019

Royal Ascot hero A’Ali followed up with a cosy success in the Darley Prix Robert Papin at Deauville.

Runner-up on his debut at Ripon in early June, Simon Crisford’s juvenile went one better in the Norfolk Stakes – initiating a memorable four-timer on the day for jockey Frankie Dettori.

Stepping up half a furlong in distance, the son of Society Rock was a prohibitively priced 4-6 favourite for his latest Group Two assignment – and odds-on backers were made to sweat.

Dettori positioned the market leader in midfield for much of the way as My Love’s Passion blazed a trail in front.

The red-hot jockey had to get to work with over a furlong still to run, but A’Ali responded generously to pick up the leader – and he was ultimately well on top at the line.

Racegoers at Deauville were treated to a flying dismount from Frankie Dettori! (Focusonracing)
Racegoers at Deauville were treated to a flying dismount from Frankie Dettori! (Focusonracing)

Crisford told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s shown an impressive turn of foot there, so we might come back for the Prix Morny – that is obviously under strong consideration.

“He’s a straightforward, very easy colt to deal with. He’s very willing and has a good turn of foot, so luckily he’s got all the attributes to be a very good racehorse.”

Paddy Power make A’Ali an 8-1 shot for the Coolmore Nunthorpe at York on August 23, but he appears more likely to stick to his own age group – and step up to six furlongs – in either the Prix Morny back at Deauville or the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

“I think a hard-run five furlongs is a really good trip for him, and he’s in the Nunthorpe, (but) I’m not sure we want to be running against Battaash at this stage of his career,” Crisford added.

“You’ve (also) got the Phoenix Stakes in Ireland and the Prix Morny, so he’ll come back for one of these Group One races.”

A’Ali was a second winner on the card for Dettori, with the popular Italian having earlier struck gold on John Gosden’s Twist ‘N’ Shake – who made the most of having her sights lowered, with a dominant victory in the Prix de Bagatelle.

Frankie Dettori continued his excellent run with a double at Deauville
Frankie Dettori continued his excellent run with a double at Deauville

A creditable fourth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, the daughter of Kingman had less on her plate in this one-mile Listed event.

The 2-5 favourite raced on the speed throughout and quickly put distance between herself and her rivals once popped the question by Dettori, with Fount best of the rest in second.

Mark Weinfeld, managing partner of owners Helena Springfield Ltd, said: “That was absolutely superb – we’re delighted. It’s really nice to get proper black type with her.

“She’s a nice little filly – she is small. I believe there is a Group Three back here for her in August, so that might be a target, but we’ll see how she comes out of this race first of all.”

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