Alpine Star primed for Palace Pier rematch at Deauville

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.

Frankie Dettori celebrates with Alpine Star at Royal Ascot last year
Frankie Dettori celebrates with Alpine Star at Royal Ascot last year (Edward Whitaker/PA)

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.

Aeonian shows real promise on Yarmouth bow

Aeonian made the perfect start to his career when beating two experienced rivals in game fashion at Yarmouth.

Sent off 25-1, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained youngster knuckled down in the closing stages to beat Altraif and Brasil Power by a head and the same in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes.

The Ulysses colt recovered from a slow start and took time to warm to the task under a patient ride by Cieren Fallon, who produced him at the business end to score in highly-promising style.

“It was very pleasing indeed. He’s a horse that is a little immature mentally and he did everything brilliantly today. It was very encouraging,” said Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family.

“I would think we’ll give him a bit more experience first and then we can talk about going up the ladder. Let’s see how he takes it all, but it was a very nice first performance and I think Cieren felt he was doing it all the right way, so it was good.”

Cooper expects Aeonian to stay a mile and possibly a mile and a quarter in time.

“On the female side it’s potentially a mile family with Miesque and Kingmambo, but East Of The Moon won the Prix de Diane so he might get a mile and a quarter, I’d have thought.”

Ulysses was a top-class performer on the track
Ulysses was a top-class performer on the track (John Walton/PA)

Aeonian was a second winner for Ulysses after Piz Badile won in the same colours at Killarney last month.

And the 2017 Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International hero had a third less than 90 minutes later when Implore struck at Beverley for owners Cheveley Park Stud and co-trainers John and Thady Gosden.

Fallon had another winner, too, as he doubled up with Priscilla’s Wish (12-1) in the Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap for Charlie McBride.