Alain de Royer-Dupre: saddles the improving Dalkala in Deauville featurePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Dalkala possible block to Shimmering ambitions
Preview: France, Saturday (1.00pm BST)
Deauville: Prix de Pomone-Haras d'Etreham (Group 2) 1m4½f, 3yo+ fillies and mares
DALKALA (Alain de Royer-Dupre/Christophe Lemaire) bids to resume her previously regal progress after finishing fifth in the Prix de Diane-Longines.
Conditions look favourable here as the Giant's Causeway filly carries no penalty for her Group 3 success in the Prix Cleopatre, as well as benefiting from her age allowance.
"She's very well and she's recovered well from the Diane," said trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre. "The thing about Deauville is that it can be a little difficult as it's a tight track and not every horse can reproduce their form from other courses."
The only other three-year-old in the line-up is the supplemented Gloomy Sunday (Christophe Ferland/Johan Victoire), who was second in a Longchamp Listed event last month.
Also added to the original entries was Shimmering Surf (Roger Varian/Neil Callan), who may in retrospect have faced a near-impossible task on her most recent start in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks.
"She has done nothing wrong all season and her performance last time out when giving nearly a stone to Great Heavens was probably a career best," said Varian.
"She is training really well and looks a picture. It's a Group 2 so obviously it's competitve but I am hopeful of another solid run."
Solemia (Carlos Laffon-Parias/Olivier Peslier) must give weight away all round thanks to her success in the Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud.
"She was going to go for the Yorkshire Oaks but at the last moment we had a rethink and, despite having to give weight away here we decided against travelling her," said Laffon-Parias.
Last year's winner Sarah Lynx (John Hammond/Christophe Soumillon) has since picked up the Group 1 Canadian International but returns from a long lay-off, following last December's Hong Kong Vase.
Preview: France, Saturday (1.30pm BST)
Deauville: Prix de Gontaut-Biron -Hong Kong Jockey Club (Group 3) 1m2f, 4yo+
THE LAST two renewals have been won by Vision D'Etat and Cirrus Des Aigles and, while none of the seven runners have pretensions to that level of form, the way is open for one of them to gain pattern-race success.
Connections are hoping the ground won't have gone too fast for Sagramor (Hughie Morrison/Darryl Holland), who will be making his first start since finishing second to Carlton House in the Betfair Brigadier Gerard at the end of May.
"It just hasn't worked out when we planned to run the ground went against us, then he went up too high in the handicap to run at Royal Ascot in the Wolferton, so we've just been waiting really," said Morrison.
Another to have hit the bar at Group 2 level last time out is Maxios (Jonathan Pease/Stephane Pasquier), who came up against the in-form Aiken in the Grand Prix de Chantilly at the beginning of June.
Saga Dream (Freddy Lemercier/Thierry Jarnet) continues to be a terrific flag-bearer for his small stable, despite having disappointed last time in the Grand Prix de Compiegne.
"There are three possible explanations for his poor run at Compiegne," said Lemercier. "It could have been the course, the tacky ground or the decision to take him wide, which encouraged him to pull too hard. He's back to his best, he hasn't had a lot of hard racing this season and this is a good chance to win a Group 3."