11.34pm Woodbine Mile, Saturday
I was lucky enough to win this on Trade Storm in 2014, and hopefully Deauville has similarly strong claims here, though this looks a field with a lot of depth this year and luck in running will play its’ part with 12 runners.
I have a midfield draw in six, which could have been worse, and we know that Deauville has a lot going for him. Tactically, he likes go forward but he certainly doesn’t have to lead, so we will see what happens on that front.
He is a clearly a great traveller – I won the Belmont Derby on him last year – and he comes here on the back of a close third for Ryan in the Arlington Million.
He has basically been campaigned at 1m2f as a 3yo onwards but you can easily argue some of his best efforts have come at a shorter trip. His QEII third to Ribchester is a case in point, and his recent head second to Moonlight Magic, giving him 4lb, over 1m1f looks a lot better after the winner finished fourth in the Irish Champion Stakes at the weekend.
And, in any case, the one-turn mile at Woodbine is more stamina-sapping than the normal two-turns you get in the States so that should suit him well.
It’s the stiffest of all the tracks as the turf course is on the outside of the dirt track and it’s a long way from the home turn, let alone the end of the back straight.
I also think he’s the most consistent and best horse in the race, and his form all year has been franked time and again. Given normal luck in running he deserves his position at the top of the market for the race.
But, even before we get to the home challenge, plenty of other high-class horses have followed him over for the race.
Mondialiste won this two years ago; Lancaster Bomber obviously has to be greatly respected on his St James’ Palace Stakes second, especially as he is racing off just 8st; Arod, beaten only 2 lengths behind Tepin in this race last year, is having his first start for David (Simcock); and this could be exactly the sort of test at a mile at which Dutch Connection, back to winning form at Goodwood last time, could shine.
And World Approval could well be the pick of the home team after showing he has the pace for this trip at Saratoga last time.
It’s a good, competitive, renewal all round, but I think I am on the horse with the best chance, and quick ground is fine for him.
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