Galileo is ‘worthy favourite’
View from connections ahead of the Group One Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.
Galileo Gold has travelled over and settled in well
Hugo Palmer is not unduly worried about turning Galileo Gold out again just 18 days after his brave effort in the Sussex Stakes when he goes for glory in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.
The Newmarket trainer reports his 2000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes winner to have taken that race, in which he went down by a neck to The Gurkha, when attempting to make all the running at Glorious Goodwood.
"He's in great form. It's a hot race, there's no hiding place and he's a worthy favourite," said Palmer.
"He's taking his racing well and has travelled over and settled in. The track and the ground should be fine.
"It would be great to get another Group One under his belt, but like any Jacques le Marois, it will take plenty of winning.
"He's been a star for us all along."
Connections of Ribchester have good reason to be hopeful of getting their revenge as he finished with a flourish in the Sussex and was only a short head behind Galileo Gold at the line.
"I was very pleased with how he took his race at Goodwood," said the Malton handler.
"He looks the part and has given me encouraging signals. I don't think the track or any type of ground will bother him on Sunday."
Ed Walker was delighted Stormy Antarctic got back on track when runner-up in the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly five weeks ago after his under-par run in the 2000 Guineas.
The Newmarket trainer said: "He's had a perfect preparation since the Jean Prat and I think he's come on a lot for that run.
"It was great to get him back into something like his best form after the disappointment of the Guineas when he picked up an injury, but he seems well and truly over that.
"We go there hopefully without any excuses and see where we lie.
"I didn't expect it to be as hot as it is and the Sussex horses turning up, but they have and it's a Group One at the end of the day.
"I've got enormous respect for Galileo Gold, and Ribchester is obviously starting to shape up.
"And then you've got some good older horses like Arod, Lightning Spear and last year's winner Esoterique.
"The strength of the race is reflected by last year's winner being 16-1 this time and also how good the three-year-olds are.
"It's going to be a very interesting, tough race."
Andre Fabre attempts to equal Francois Boutin's record of seven triumphs in the race and gave a resounding vote of confidence for last year's winner Esoterique and Vadamos.
Last year's heroine Esoterique attempts to become only the third dual winner of the race after the legendary Miesque and Spinning World.
Fabre said: "My horses are both in good shape and have pleased me in their preparations.
"I thought Esoterique was a bit unlucky not to finish third in the Prix Rothschild here at Deauville after stumbling as she came out of the stalls.
"Her last bit of work was encouraging, and I think she is as good as she was going into the race a year ago."
Stablemate Vadamos was unable to cut the mustard against California Chrome and company in the Dubai World Cup back in March, but has subsequently beaten Ervedya in a Group Two at Saint-Cloud and warmed up for this mission by impressively landing a Group Three at Maisons-Laffitte.
Fabre said: "Vadamos is an impressive horse, both to the eye and the way he performs in morning work.
"I was delighted with his latest gallop and as he's proved himself at Group Three and Group Two level, I'm optimistic he can now bridge the divide to becoming a Group One winner."
Jean-Claude Rouget is hoping the Aga Khan-owned Ervedya can step up to the plate following a slightly disappointing effort when fifth to Tepin in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.
"She had a good final gallop for the Marois and seems very well in herself," said Rouget.
"The ground will be satisfactory for her. Hopefully all is set fair for her to run a big race on Sunday."