2.45 Deauville, Prix Maurice de Gheest
This looks a cracking race this year and while last year’s winner Signs Of Blessing looks to face a much tougher field this time around, he does look the one to side with again.
Aiden O’Briens Caravaggio is a short priced favourite for this race with the UK bookies. He will likely go off favourite on the PMU, but you should get bigger than the 6/5 available with the UK bookies. Caravaggio lost his unbeaten record in the July Cup when taking on elders for the first time, though it was another 3-year-old he had already finished in front of last time out in Harry Angel that won the race. He was beat just under 2 lengths in to fourth, a 2.5 length reversal on their previous meeting. Caravaggio could prove that was just an off day, but he has it to prove having looked very special against his own age group and 6/5 just doesn’t seem a fair price.
Sign Of Blessing ran a poor in the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot, finishing eighth behind Lady Aurelia, beaten just under 6 lengths. He is an habitual front-runner, but raced in midfield and made very little impact on the race. It transpired that Signs Of Blessing had suffered dehydration, with a mix up at Ascot barring the horse from taking on water after his journey over from France, which would explain why he ran so poorly and didn’t even lead as he usually does. Previously he made his seasonal debut in sensational fashion in giving Profitable 11lb and a 2 length beating in the Prix de Saint-Georges, leading from the start he won easily, by far a career best and probably better than anything in the field have achieved. Profitable went on to finish second to Lady Aurelia (beaten 3 lengths) in the same race Signs Of Blessing ran in, suffering from dehydration and after that finished runner up to Battaash.
He seems to handle all ground, though slower ground would hinder other more, having won on very soft ground. He has won 4 out of his last 5 races in his native France, with his only loss coming when making his seasonal debut in 2016. While French sprints are usually a quite weak division, he has proved himself against proven sprinters and if you take out Caravaggio, this race looks very winnable for Signs of Blessing. He is currently available with the UK bookies at 6/1, which looks outstanding value.
Of the others at a price, Magical Memory could go close, he is a sprinter in form but this is a step up for him; it could be worth keeping an eye on the PMU markets before the race if he does look like going off at a crazy price.
Signs Of Blessing, 6/1 with Bet365
Magical Memory, 30+ on the PMU