Caravaggio out to make amends in Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville

Sun 6 Aug 2017

Caravaggio is reported to be in good order ahead of his attempt to bounce back to winning ways in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday.

After winning at Royal Ascot for the second year in succession with victory in the Commonwealth Cup, the Aidan O'Brien-trained speed machine suffered the first defeat of his career when finishing fourth in the July Cup at Newmarket.

Despite the son of Scat Daddy, who is one of two runners for the Ballydoyle handler in the six-and-a-half-furlong Group One alongside Intelligence Cross, having his colours lowered last time out, connections are looking forward to seeing him back in action.

"Caravaggio is in very good form and has been since his run last time at Newmarket. We are looking forward to running him and Intelligence Cross at Deauville on Sunday," said Kevin Buckley, Coolmore's UK representative.

Although Bound For Nowhere proved to be no match for Caravaggio at Royal Ascot when finishing back in fourth, his trainer Wesley Ward is confident of a big run.

Ward said: "Bound For Nowhere has been doing great. I was really happy with his run at Ascot as he had a little trouble in the race. He would not have been placed but he would have finished a little closer.

"That was only his third start and first on a straight course. He is a big colt and not like the little rockets that I usually bring over.

"I own him so that's why he has been able to have the time. He had a beautiful workout last week. He worked in company with Undrafted (Diamond Jubilee winner of 2015). I didn't want to ship him to France just hoping to run a good race, I wanted him ready to run the race of his life.

"When they turned for home the boy on him tapped him on the shoulder and he opened up by six lengths. His form had to be that good to put him on the plane.

"I saw that explosion in him like when he won that race at Keeneland

"He had a nice breeze on Wednesday, I think that his last race has brought him forward and I think he will run a big race.

"It's always tough when you are running against a horse like Caravaggio but my horse is ready to run the race of his life. Hopefully that is good enough to beat Caravaggio but, if not, I will take my hat off to him as he is a champion."

While multiple Group-race winner Magical Memory is yet to triumph at the highest level, connections of the Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old, who has won his previous two starts, are hoping he can address that fact over a new trip which is expected to suit.

Sam Hoskins, racing manager to owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, said: "He has been really well at home and Charlie has been keen to run him in this race once the dust settled after Newbury.

"Although he hasn't won a Group One yet, he was unlucky in the Diamond Jubilee last year and in the Sprint Cup the year before.

"He is worthy of a place in the line-up and Charlie feels that the marginal step up in trip will suit him. He always travels well in his races and the good to soft ground will be perfect for him."

Brando, Aclaim and Tupi also make the trip, with last year's winner Signs Of Blessing among the 13 too.

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