Tag Archive for: Deauville Legend

Deauville delivers impressive Voltigeur verdict

Deauville Legend led home a one-three for trainer James Ferguson in the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

It was stablemate and eventual third El Bodegon who looked likely to claim the spoils, hitting the front two furlongs out in the hands of Hollie Doyle, but Daniel Muscutt was tracking nicely and it was simply a case of when and not if for the talented gelding.

The ultra-consistent son of Sea The Stars has progressed rapidly through the ranks this season and following silver medals at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood, added this Group Two prize to the Bahrain Trophy he landed at Newmarket’s July Festival earlier in the campaign.

Unable to run in the St Leger due to the fact he is a gelding, the Melbourne Cup could be an option for the winner, with Paddy Power introducing him into the market at 14-1.

El Bodegon is also set to head to Australia, where he holds a Cox Plate entry.

Ferguson said: “One moment I was concentrating on El Bodegon as I thought Dan was in trouble and the next moment I saw him with a double handful. He gave him a beautiful ride and didn’t panic.

“Credit to both horses, they’ve both run fantastic races and I’m delighted for both sets of owners. They should both have successful careers Down Under.

“At the moment El Bodegon is in the Cox Plate and Deauville Legend is in the Melbourne Cup, but that’s not all set in stone. Quarantine is about two weeks. Hopefully they be in Australia in early October.

“Deauville Legend has improved with every race and has come out of each race so well, the team have done a great job with him, he’s getting better with age.”

Ferguson announced a change in his set up on Wednesday, switching yards in Newmarket.

He added: “I’m moving to Hugo Palmer’s Kremlin Cottage and I’m looking forward to continuing the good work he started there. There’s 96 boxes so almost double what I’ve got now.”

Secret State finished in front of Deauville Legend at Ascot
Secret State finished in front of Deauville Legend at Ascot (David Davies/PA)

Charlie Appleby has not ruled out a St Leger run for Secret State, who beat Deauville Legend in the King George V Stakes at Ascot.

He said: “It was another solid run and the winner is improving, there’s no doubt about it.

“We are improving, but the winner is improving at a rate of knots. He travelled particularly well and had a nice pitch.

“We’ll see (about the St Leger). We’ll see how it all pans out over the coming weeks.”

Ferguson has high hopes for Great Voltigeur pair

James Ferguson is finding it difficult to split Deauville Legend and El Bodegon ahead of the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Wednesday.

The Newmarket handler is looking forward to firing a twin assault on the Group Two prize – a recognised trial for the St Leger – with the betting suggesting Deauville Legend is the yard’s first string.

A Windsor maiden winner in the spring, the son of Sea The Stars has since finished second to the reopposing Secret State in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, won the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket and chased home New London in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

Being a gelding, Deauville Legend is not eligible for the Leger, but Ferguson is hoping he can earn himself a tilt at some other big prizes with a bold showing on the Knavesmire.

“Deauville Legend is a lovely horse. He has been progressive since his first start this year,” he said.

“I thought everyone sort of underrated his performance at Goodwood, people forget that he was carrying a 3lb penalty. He deserves his place in the race and I think it is a wonderful stepping-stone for whatever he does in the future.

“If he can improve like he has improved with every run, then he will have a good chance.”

El Bodegon may be a much bigger price than his stable companion, but Ferguson believes it would be folly to dismiss his chances.

A Group One winner in France last season, the three-year-old disappointed in the Dante at York in May, but has since been placed in the French Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris.

El Bodegon in the parade ring at York
El Bodegon in the parade ring at York (Tim Goode/PA)

Ferguson added: “El Bodegon is the price he is because he has been running abroad and English punters don’t necessarily know him. He hasn’t won in England since Sandown (in July of last year) and people forget what happens abroad.

“His last two runs have been very solid and back up to the level we know of him. He is very tough and he proved last time out in the Grand Prix de Paris that he stays a mile and a half no problem.

“He is obviously a Group One-winning two-year-old and has won more prize-money than anything else in the race – and possibly more than all of them put together.

“He is a different profile of a horse. He has been good from day one, while Deauville Legend has been getting progressively better and better, and at the moment the plans are for them both to end the season down in Australia and this is the perfect stepping stone for both of them.

“I can’t split them. I am grateful for the opportunity to train them. I have three Group-winning three-year-olds in the yard from not many three-year-olds and I’m just grateful these two are hopefully going to have a good run on Wednesday.”

Secret State has won his last four starts for Charlie Appleby – following up his Royal Ascot victory over Deauville Legend by landing another valuable handicap at Glorious Goodwood.

Appleby views his charge as a “worthy favourite” on his Pattern-race debut, telling the Godolphin website: “Secret State won the King George V Handicap at Ascot and the form of that race has worked out well.

“Secret State backed that up at Goodwood with another good performance there, over the distance. He’s a Dubawi, who is progressing race on race. He goes there a worthy favourite.

“We are lucky to have New London, who is currently favourite for the St Leger, which has always been his target. As for Secret State, we will make a decision regarding his trip after the Voltigeur.

“There’s a question mark over whether he would get a strong one-mile-six. We will see in time.”

Walk Of Stars after finishing third at Newmarket
Walk Of Stars after finishing third at Newmarket (Tim Goode/Jockey Club)

Like Ferguson Appleby has a second string to his bow in the form of Walk Of Stars, who was a neck third to Deauville Legend in the Bahrain Trophy on his first start since being gelded.

Appleby added: “We’ve always held him in high regard. We ran him in the Derby because we felt he was one of our better middle-distance horses at the time. Since gelding, we have seen a marked improvement in him mentally. If he can put it together, a race such as the Voltigeur is well within his compass.

“We have used this race before as a guide to future targets at home and abroad, with Yibir being a good example. If he runs well, we might look at America for him later in the year.”

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore team up with Aikhal, who was seriously impressive on his first start over a mile and a quarter in the International Stakes at the Curragh in June and now tests his stamina over the mile and a half.

Aikhal winning the International Stakes at the Curragh
Aikhal winning the International Stakes at the Curragh (Niall Carson/PA)

“The horses coming from Goodwood – handicap winner Secret State and Gordon Stakes runner-up Deauville Legend have strong claims, with my preference being for the latter – but hopefully my colt is in there with every chance,” Moore told Betfair.

“We chucked him in at the deep end on his return over a mile at Royal Ascot and I was very impressed with him in a 10-furlong Group Three at the Curragh.

“This a sterner test for him, up in trip, but the way he finished off his race last time suggests this Galileo colt is well worth a shot in this grade.”

The field is completed by the Charlie Fellowes-trained Grand Alliance, who threw away the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot by hanging violently across the track, since when he disappointed in the Gordon Stakes.

Fellowes said: “I want more rain. They’ve missed the majority of it so far.

“I think you can put a line through Goodwood. It’s a really quirky track and I think he hated every yard of it.

“If he hadn’t run below-par at Goodwood, he’d be half the price he is. He is quirky, but I’d like to think a much more conventional track like York will suit him better and I think going left-handed will suit him much better.

“We’re replacing the visor with cheekpieces, just to change it up rather than using the same headgear every time he runs. That’s not to say that he won’t have a visor on again in the future, I just want to switch things around to keep him guessing a little bit.”

Ferguson hoping Voltigeur can set Deauville Legend up for Melbourne

Deauville Legend is on course for the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York with James Ferguson also eyeing up a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup later in the year.

The son of Sea The Stars has proven a consistent performer in middle-distance contests so far this term and struck gold when gamely landing the Bahrain Trophy during Newmarket’s July Festival.

That Group Three success over one-mile-five-furlongs sandwiched a pair of placed efforts at two of the summer’s other big meetings, firstly finishing second, beaten a head, by Secret State in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, before again picking up a silver medal when narrowly denied by New London in Goodwood’s Gordon Stakes.

With Deauville Legend already gelded, he is unable to run in the St Leger at Doncaster next month. So Ferguson is instead seeing the three-year-old’s step up to Group Two company on the Knavesmire as preparation for Flemington in the autumn, where he could line up in the ‘race that stops a nation’.

“He’s recovered from his (Goodwood) race well – the intention is still to run in the Voltigeur,” said Ferguson.

“I think he’s in great nick and I’m looking forward to him running. He’ll probably do one more piece (of fast work) – probably on Thursday.

“Two in the betting that will be ahead of him are Walk of Stars and Secret State. He has already beaten Walk of Stars and there’s an argument for him being as good if not better than Secret State – we’ll see.

“He has progressed with every run. I think he’s a nice horse and am looking forward to see what he can do in the future. He’s a gelding so he can’t run in the Leger – this is probably a stepping stone to the Melbourne Cup.”

Deauville Legend lifts Bahrain Trophy prize

Royal Ascot runner-up Deauville Legend showed plenty of guts to come out on top in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.

James Ferguson’s three-year-old was only a head away from victory in the King George V Stakes at the Royal meeting, but made no mistake in his first foray into Group company in what was a thrilling finish to the one-mile-five-furlong contest.

Deauville Legend was settled tracking the easy lead given to Al Qareem in the early stages, but caught the eye travelling stylishly when the race entered the final three furlongs.

Winning rider Daniel Muscutt asked the gelding to stride to the front as the field hit the one-furlong pole and the duo held on gamely from the rallying Al Qareem and fast-finishing Walk Of Stars.

The victory brought to an end a 70-day losing run for Ferguson, who was saddling his 12th winner of the season.

“Obviously he ran well at Ascot, he’s come on from that and he’s stayed every yard of the trip,” said Ferguson.

“I’m delighted for the owner, he’s been a big supporter of mine pretty much since I started.

“We’ll have a chat about the plan, but there’s Goodwood (Gordon Stakes) to look at and maybe York as well (Great Voltigeur).

“While I would say he was a little unlucky at Ascot he was also beaten by a very good horse in a photo – but I’m not bothered about that now!

“Katie Webber rides him every day, I’m delighted for her and the whole team.”

He added: “He stayed every yard of the trip but the way he travelled you’d have no trouble coming back to a mile and a half.

“You could travel with him now, he’s maturing with every race.”

Karl Burke felt Al Qareem was a little unlucky after Clifford Lee almost got run away with at Ascot.

“At Ascot Cliff was unlucky. We were drawn wide and there were other front runners. We drilled it into him not to get stuck five wide on the first bend. He set him alight a little bit and couldn’t really get him back, but it wasn’t Cliff’s fault entirely,” said the Middleham handler.

“This horse just keeps rolling and we thought we’d get an easy lead today, we said just let him get into a rhythm but you could see after a furlong he almost set himself alight!

“I just wish I’d had a radio in Cliff’s ear to tell him they were coming because all he does is keep galloping. The winner did lean on him and had that happened further out we might have had a case because he was coming right back at him.

“We might look at the Gordon at Goodwood, but we’ve no fixed plans.”

Grand Prix de Paris plans for El Bodegon

French Derby runner-up El Bodegon is set to once again head across the channel to France for his next outing, as James Ferguson targets the Grand Prix de Paris at ParisLongchamp.

The son of Kodiac finished his two-year-old campaign with a pair of victories on the continent, providing Ferguson with his first Group One success in the training ranks when picking up the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in October.

He went to Chantilly for the Prix du Jockey Club with a point to prove following an underwhelming reappearance in the Dante Stakes at York and although no match for the impressive winner Vadeni, he stayed on gamely in the closing stages to finish best of the supporting cast.

El Bodegon was trainer James Ferguson's first Group One winner and one of his stable stars
El Bodegon was trainer James Ferguson’s first Group One winner and one of his stable stars (Edward Whitaker/PA)

Now with many of the top middle-distance colts pencilled in for either the King George or the Eclipse, Ferguson is hoping another cross-channel raid proves fruitful as he prepares to try a mile and a half for the first time in the French capital on July 14.

“He’s in really good order and has come out of the race (Prix du Jockey Club) well. We’re very happy with him at home and we’re looking to go back to France for the Grand Prix de Paris,” said Ferguson.

“Some of the horses that we were potentially trying to avoid have either run in the Irish Derby or are going to the King George or the Eclipse. Hopefully that leaves the option open for us to compete where we have been strongest with this horse (France) and where we probably have the best chance of getting a bit of rain, which I think is probably the most important factor of all.”

The Newmarket-based handler is also looking forward to getting his Royal Ascot runner-up Deauville Legend back on track in the near future. The three-year-old was beaten only a head in the King George V Stakes and Ferguson is scouring the programme book at the various options for the son of Sea The Stars moving forward.

He continued: “He ran a cracker, obviously we were gutted he didn’t win, but he lost nothing in defeat and all options are on the table – whether we go handicapping or step up in grade. We might try and run him at the July meeting, we’ll make a couple of entries and see how we get on.”