Connections of Art Power believe Sunday’s Prix Maurice de Gheest presents the flying grey with his “best chance ever” of striking gold at the highest level for the first time.
Not beaten far when fourth in last month’s July Cup, Tim Easterby’s six-year-old turned out just seven days later for the Group Two Sapphire Stakes and produced a dominant display to extend his unbeaten record at the Curragh to four.
He faces another quick turnaround and a step up in trip for this weekend’s Deauville feature, but confidence is high that he can strike whilst the iron is hot.
Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing, said: “He’s got his favoured ground and he’s thriving at the moment. He seems to love travelling and in French conditions we feel six and a half furlongs shouldn’t be a problem – he actually ran pretty well last year over seven at York.
“The style of racing in France should really suit us as he might be able to dominate and this is possibly his best chance ever to win a Group One.
“We’ve still got a month until the Flying Five back at the Curragh, so he can get a bit of a break after this weekend and he is a six-year-old gelding, so you may as well race them.
“He’s been a great servant and it would be great if he could add a Group One to his CV.”
Art Power is part of a strong British contingent that also includes the Karl Burke-trained duo of Cold Case and Spycatcher.
Cold Case was last seen being beaten just half a length into third place in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, while his stablemate Spycatcher returns to Deauville having carried the colours of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing to an an impressive Group Three win at the track four weeks ago.
“The horse is in really good form and he loves this ground and the track. We just thought he deserves to to take his chance,” said Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert.
“It’s a rather unique race obviously in that it’s run over six and a half furlongs and that would be his ideal trip.”
He added: “We’re really excited. He’s been such a fun horse, he was so impressive last time and having thought he might be retired last year with a little issue he had, he now seems to be better than ever.
“The turnaround has been incredible for his shareholders, he’s been very well trained by Karl and it’s amazing to be heading over to Deauville for a Group One.”
Archie Watson’s Saint Lawrence, the David Evans-trained Rohaan, Andrew Balding’s Sandrine and Brad The Brief from Hugo Palmer’s yard complete the raiding party.
With Aidan O’Brien’s Little Big Bear not declared having been supplemented earlier in the week, the field is completed by Nicolas Caullery’s pair of Fort Payne and King Gold and Egot, trained by French maestro Andre Fabre.