UK and Irish trainers have won the last three runnings of the Prix Jean Prat and with the raiders accounting for almost half of the 11 runners going to post at Deauville on Sunday, there is a fine chance the prize crosses the channel once again.
Charlie Appleby won the seven-furlong Group One with Pinatubo in 2020 and relies on Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Modern Games, who drops back in trip having finished third in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly most recently.
That form took a huge boost when Vadeni backed up his French Derby success in the Coral-Eclipse and the Godolphin colt looks to have all the attributes to play a leading role on Sunday afternoon.
“He’s in great order, but obviously we are coming back from a mile and a quarter to seven furlongs,” said the Moulton Paddocks handler.
“He’s very genuine and he’s got a lot of natural pace. Hopefully it will be quick ground, which you can never be certain of in Deauville, but he’s showing all the signs he was before the (French) Guineas.”
Richard Hannon’s Lusail almost made a mockery of odds of 28-1 when beaten only a head in the St James’s Palace Stakes. Before that he was beaten just over five lengths in the 2000 Guineas, so the son of Mehmas showed clear improvement to bridge that gap with the winner of both races, Coroebus, at Royal Ascot.
The colt is another to drop back in distance, although Lusail has plenty of speed and seven furlongs should pose few problems.
Sheila Lavery’s New Energy finished eighth in the St James’s Palace and is also tried over a shorter trip.
New Energy was in real contention a furlong from home at Ascot, and having finished second to Native Trail in the Irish 2,000 Guineas before that, Lavery is hoping the son of New Bay can prove he belongs at Group One-level in Northern France.
“I’m hoping it is not too close to Ascot, we’ve just been keeping him ticking over at home, so until we run him we won’t know, but he’s a very good traveller,” said Lavery.
“It took him a little while to get over to Ascot, but hopefully he’s back to himself and dropping him back to seven for the last three-year-old Group One, we had to give it a shot.
“I think it will suit, he has such a high cruising speed. Ascot was a muddling race and did he stay the stiff mile? I’m not overly sure or was it just the pace of the race. But I do think he will cope with seven just fine.”
The final runner making the journey is Aidan O’Brien’s Tenebrism. Many believed last season’s Cheveley Park winner would be returned to sprinting following a below-par effort in the 1000 Guineas, but the Caravaggio filly justified her handler’s decision to stick at a mile when finishing a respectable fourth in the Coronation Stakes.
The filly’s big-race rider Ryan Moore told Betfair: “We had the option of the Falmouth Stakes, but I think this race over seven furlongs is a good spot for her.
“A high-class juvenile when winning the Cheveley Park, the Guineas simply didn’t pan out ideally for her, but she shaped much better when fourth in a very strong Coronation Stakes last time.
“She clearly saw the mile out very well there, but she has plenty of pace and I can see stepping down in trip really suiting her. I’d be hopeful, even if this race has plenty of depth, which you’d pretty much expect for a Group One.”
Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Mangoustine also took part in that red-hot renewal of the Coronation Stakes won by Inspiral. However, the Mikel Delzangles-trained filly failed to follow up her ParisLongchamp performance and will be looking to recover the form that saw her claim Classic glory.
Andre Fabre is the joint-leading trainer in the race having landed the Group One five-times. The decorated handler relies on Tribalist this time around, who was third to Modern Games in the French 2000 Guineas before failing by a short head in a Chantilly Group Three most recently.
Also bringing French Classic form to the table is Texas, who split the Godolphin pair of Modern Games and Tribalist in the capital back in May, while Francis-Henri Graffard saddles the exciting Rozgar who makes the step up to Group One-company looking for his fourth straight success.
The field is completed by three-time winner Siam Paragon and the filly Accakaba.