Derby ace Appleby eyeing Group glory as Beyond Reason crosses Channel
Preview: France, Saturday (12.50 BST)
Deauville: Prix Six Perfections (Group 3) 7f | turf | 2yo fillies
King George weekend might have been busier for Charlie Appleby had his Derby winner Masar not been ruled out for the season, but the Godolphin trainer still has hopes of Pattern success in France with Chesham fourth Beyond Reason as Deauville opens its doors for its high-summer highlights.
Before Royal Ascot, the daughter of Australia, who will be ridden by former Ballydoyle stalwart Colm O'Donoghue, won nicely at Kempton.
"I was pleased with Beyond Reason's run in the Chesham Stakes and a repeat of that effort should hopefully make her very competitive," said Appleby, whose filly faces seven rivals including fellow Newmarket raiders Impulsion and Miss Celestial.
Trained by Roger Varian, Impulsion impressed on her debut at Goodwood and followed up by finishing third in a Listed race at Newmarket last month.
"She performed with credit upped in class in the Empress Stakes at Newmarket and she ran on like this extra furlong would suit," reckoned Varian.
"It's a shame she has the widest draw in stall eight, but we should learn some more about her."
Also on Saturday
Prix de Psyche (Group 3) 1m2f | turf | 3yo fillies (1.50 BST)
Homerique, beaten a neck when third in the Prix de Diane, could be the star turn on Deauville's card when she aims to regain the winning thread under Pierre-Charles Boudot, who is in the middle of a 15-day riding suspension, but able to participate as he selected this day as one he could opt in on.
Trainer Francis Graffard is thankful that is the case and said: "I'm very happy with her and I think she has progressed physically and mentally. Pierre-Charles gets on with her well and she is a filly who takes a little bit of knowing when she is galloping."
Three places off Homerique in the French Oaks was Lady Athena, whose connections have big hopes for her.
"She is progressing well and I think she ran very well in the French Oaks for one so inexperienced," said trainer Yan Durepaire.
"She was also a bit unlucky because Jean-Bernard [Eyquem, jockey] got stopped twice when he tried to get out. We were disappointed at the time, but the filly needs more experience and I'm still confident in her for the autumn and next year when she is more mature.
"I think this race should help toughen her up and get her prepared for the Vermeille."
Prix du Cercle (Listed) 5f | 3yo+ | turf (2.30 BST)
There is also Newmarket interest in the Listed sprint on Deauville's card with Rae Guest's stable favourite Mirza set for his 70th start.
He is chasing win number 12 and faces the David O'Meara-trained Fashion Queen under Christophe Soumillon.
"He ran out of his skin at Sandown two starts ago and then he didn't really come down the hill at Newmarket," said Guest.
"He has won there in the past but now he's older, he doesn't enjoy it and was never travelling. He has come out of the race happy and well and hopefully there won't be any rain. For an 11-year-old, he is a marvel and he has won this race twice so we know he likes Deauville."
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