Deauville takes centre stage for European Group 1 racing this weekend and there’s plenty of Irish interest in both the French 1,000 Guineas (Saturday) and 2,000 Guineas (Sunday).
Roly Poly, Rain Goddess & Smoulder represent the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien stable and Roly Poly looks the stable pick as he is ridden by Donnacha O’Brien. The best of her form last year was a narrow defeat in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes behind Brave Anna. They’ll have it all to do, however, to turn over the likely favourite SENGA from the Pascal Bary stable. She was only just beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Wuheida in the Prix Marcel Boussac last year and she stayed on really strongly that day. She returned at Chantilly last month and took a Group 3 very easily. She looks like the filly to beat.
In Sunday’s French 2,000 Guineas Orderofthegarter (Seamie Heffernan) and Peace Envoy (Ryan Moore) are the Ballydoyle representatives but this race looks likely to stay on French soil also. Al Shaqab’s BRAMELOT, trained by Jean Claude Rouget, was a 3-time winner as a 2-yr-old last season and also returned recently at Chantilly – on the same card as SENGA – to take the colt’s equivalent Group 3 race. He couldn’t have been more impressive and look a worthy favourite.
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