Excelebration: will bid to make the most of Frankel's absence at DeauvillePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Stars to clash in stellar Prix Jacques le Marois
NO fewer than nine individual Group 1 winners line up for arguably the best quality mile contest of the year in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.
Their trainers and owners have been lured to the Normandy coast by a prize rich in tradition, as well as euros, not to mention the absence of wonderhorse Frankel.
Most relieved will be the connections of Excelebration, who has met Frankel five times and been beaten by 26 and a quarter lengths in total.
The field contains four British-trained three-year-olds, including Most Improved, Caspar Netscher and the John Gosden pair Fallen For You and Elusive Kate, who beat Golden Lilac in the Prix Rothschild over course and distance last month. Elusive Kate will be ridden by Frankie Dettori while William Buick will partner her stablemate.
They will face up against classy French fillies Golden Lilac and Moonlight Cloud, who posted an imperious performance in last Sunday's Prix Maurice de Gheest.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Excelebration, who is no bigger than 5-2 with Ladbrokes to score, said: "We have been happy with him since Royal Ascot and he's going to France in good form. He'll probably be surprised Frankel isn't there."
Also set to represent Britain is the Roger Charlton-trained Cityscape, who drops back to a mile after failing to stay the extra distance in the Coral-Eclipse last time out.
Charlton said: "It is a red-hot race so we can only go there hopeful rather confident. Avoiding Frankel has made life tough for everybody. Cityscape is in great form but any of them could win. It is a valuable race with good horses."