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York countdown: Deauville Legend on course for Great Voltigeur

Tue 9 Aug 2022

Deauville Legend is on course for the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York with James Ferguson also eyeing up a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup later in the year.

The son of Sea The Stars has proven a consistent performer in middle-distance contests so far this term and struck gold when gamely landing the Bahrain Trophy during Newmarket’s July Festival.

That Group Three success over one-mile-five-furlongs sandwiched a pair of placed efforts at two of the summer’s other big meetings, firstly finishing second, beaten a head, by Secret State in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, before again picking up a silver medal when narrowly denied by New London in Goodwood’s Gordon Stakes.

With Deauville Legend already gelded, he is unable to run in the St Leger at Doncaster next month. So Ferguson is instead seeing the three-year-old’s step up to Group Two company on the Knavesmire as preparation for Flemington in the autumn, where he could line up in the ‘race that stops a nation’.

“He’s recovered from his (Goodwood) race well – the intention is still to run in the Voltigeur,” said Ferguson.

“I think he’s in great nick and I’m looking forward to him running. He’ll probably do one more piece (of fast work) – probably on Thursday.

“Two in the betting that will be ahead of him are Walk of Stars and Secret State. He has already beaten Walk of Stars and there’s an argument for him being as good if not better than Secret State – we’ll see.

“He has progressed with every run. I think he’s a nice horse and am looking forward to see what he can do in the future. He’s a gelding so he can’t run in the Leger – this is probably a stepping stone to the Melbourne Cup.”

Nashwa heading to France

 Nashwa and Doyle after winning the Qatar Nassau Stakes  (focusonracing.com)
Nashwa and Doyle after winning the Qatar Nassau Stakes (focusonracing.com)

Nashwa is unlikely to tackle Baaeed in next week’s Juddmonte International at York, with the Prix de l’Opera looking her next obvious target.

Already a Group One winner in France courtesy of the Prix de Diane, the John and Thady Gosden-trained filly added the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood to her growing record.

Hollie Doyle’s partner is owned by Imad Al Sagar and while his racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe was once chairman of York, Knavesmire fans may have to wait until next year for her to take on the boys.

As a daughter of Frankel, on the 10th anniversary of his brilliant Juddmonte win there would have been some nice symmetry.

“While it would be a lovely thought (to run in the Juddmonte) it is not something Imad is considering at the moment,” said Grimthorpe.

“She came out of the Nassau really well so we’re just looking at the various options. She’s in very good form.

“She certainly has the scope to make a nice four-year-old, but that would be entirely up to Imad in terms of how she is.

“The main thing is there is a bit of running to do this year and then take a look at the options, but she’d look a very interesting four-year-old prospect.

“I think the Prix de l’Opera has been in John’s mind since the Diane, really, so that is on the cards. But we’ll keep our eyes open.”

He added: “She’s not dissimilar to Frankel when you look at her head, and she certainly has a good turn of foot – her sectionals were most impressive at Goodwood.”

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