Alpine Star is reported to be in good form as she attempts to go one better in the Prix Du Haras De Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.
Jessica Harrington’s filly only found Palace Pier too strong by three-quarters of a length 12 months ago when the ground was heavy.
That was the second of three occasions the daughter of Sea The Moon was runner-up in a Group One last season, after scoring at the top level in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on her first and only other start in 2020.
Connections needed to give her a prep run after nine months off the track before returning to Deauville. Alpine Star returned in a Listed race at York last month, going down by a short head to Aristia after a pulsating finish.
“Mrs Harrington is very pleased with the filly and it’s nice to get her back in Group company,” said Alan Cooper, racing manager for owners the Niarchos family.
“The conditions should be very different this year. The ground is soft at the moment and the forecast is dry, so it should be good racing ground. Last year it was very deep.
“She needed to have a run before we considered coming to Deauville. It didn’t quite pan out as we’d hoped, but she came out of it very well and it brought her along so she should be on top of her game on Sunday.”
Alpine Star and Palace Pier, trained by John and Thady Gosden, were among 10 horses left in the Group One following the latest acceptance and supplementary stage.
Should Palace Pier be successful, he would be only the third horse to win back-to-back renewals after Miesque (1987 and 1988) and Spinning World (1997 and 1998).
Aidan O’Brien remains two-handed with Order Of Australia and Mother Earth while Andre Fabre has left in both Victor Ludorum and Midtown.
Jim Bolger relies on Poetic Flare after withdrawing stablemate Mac Swiney.
Ecrivain, Colosseo Usa and Chindit are the others left in the mix. Millebosc was the only other withdrawal.