No Nay Never: Royal Ascot winner heads strong overseas Morny teamPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Vorda out to repel strong overseas challenge
Preview: France, Sunday
Darley Prix Morny (Group 1) 2yo, 6f
FRANCE'S juveniles have been swept aside by a tide of British speedsters this month at Deauville. In five stakes races the home side have won only once, with their sole successful two-year-old Lacarolina unseating Gregory Benoist exiting the stalls on Saturday when trying to add Group success to her Listed triumph.
Benoist will be hoping for a change of luck on the unbeaten Vorda on Sunday, but with four more British runners in opposition, as well as Wesley Ward's Norfolk Stakes winner No Nay Never laying it down for the US, the filly will need to be every bit as good as she has looked if she is to stop the prize being exported once more.
No Nay Never has been drawing gasps from Deauville exercise watchers, not least because of his enormous physical presence.
Rizeena may look petite by comparison, but her win in the Queen Mary showed she has plenty under the bonnet.
Richard Hannon jnr joked on Thursday that he wished he and his father had put Listed winner Shamshon in the Morny.
Nevertheless, the Herridge team will be well represented by Molecomb Stakes one-two Brown Sugar and Anticipated.
What they say
Mick Channon, trainer of Jallota
"I think we've got it all to do but it looks very open. I just felt at Goodwood we never got into the race, we were always lugging to the right and it was a mess of a race. We've got every right to be here, although whether we're good enough to win I very much doubt."
Charlie Appleby, trainer of Figure Of Speech
"Before his run at Goodwood we thought he would appreciate the ease in the ground but subsequently we think he's better on a quicker surface. He'll wear cheekpieces to help him concentrate. It looks an open race."
Wesley Ward, trainer of No Nay Never
"It's a Group 1 on a good course and when you've got a colt who's good and sound and fast and has accomplished all that No Nay Never has already, it seems like the perfect race. I let him down a little bit and just galloped him nice and easy the first few weeks [after Ascot] and he just bounced right back to himself and did two really nice pieces of work."
Clive Brittain, trainer of Rizeena
"I think the ground may have been a bit fast for her at Newmarket. She carried her head to one side, which is very unusual, and when she was let down, she hesitated and then didn't get going until they met the hill. I thought she was only going to be fifth. Ryan Moore has ridden her in a couple of pieces of work and he was very satisfied with her."
Philippe Sogorb, trainer of Vorda
"Every time she's been asked to go and beat her rivals she has done it easily. We began the year believing we had a good filly and we've campaigned her accordingly. She continues to improve physically and mentally every day."