Kingman (right): won his third Group 1 at Goodwood last month
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
JOHN GOSDEN is hoping conditions at Deauville do not deteriorate too much further as he looks to give Kingman his sixth start of the season in the Group 1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard – Jacques Le Marois.
With conditions officially very soft Gosden said: “He’ll be happy on this course on anything other than very, very heavy ground, which obviously we are in danger of.”
Gosden will keep one eye on the skies and even went to the effort of putting up Kingman’s regular work rider Rab Havlin aboard Nabucco in Saturday’s Prix Gontaut-Biron in order to gain extra feedback on conditions, having already canvassed local opinion.
“Christophe Soumillon says there is the odd uneven patch,” said Gosden. “The water is still close to the surface. We will have a look at the track today and again tomorrow. It’s a case of day by day.”
With the Marois already reduced to just five runners through the withdrawal of Esoterique, due to the ground, Kingman is a best-priced 4-11 to take his Group 1 tally for the year to four. The son of Invincible Spirit has showed versatility as well as explosive power – both in terms of tactics and ground – in running up a hat-trick of Group 1 victories.
His supporters will point to the heavy conditions which attended his domination of the Irish 2,000 Guineas as proof that Kingman can take whatever the Normandy weather gods can throw at him.
The Curragh was in far fresher condition in May than a Deauville track which has been in use all month and which has also been scorched by sun and blasted by wind in between the thundery showers this week.
“I’m happy with the horse, he has travelled over fine and he will have a little lead-out this evening,” Gosden said. “That side is all good. But we have to realise that Deauville is fundamentally a river bottom and the water table is very high, with not a lot of places to go.”
The question remains as to whether or not the course can miss any further showers on Sunday morning. If they do then racegoers could be in for a treat.
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