France: Sumbal puts Arc credentials to test

Preview: France, Sunday

Deauville: Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville (Group 2) 1m4½f, 3yo+

ONE of only 12 entries left for the Ladbrokes St Leger in 13 days, Qatar Racing’s Sumbal lines up today for the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville, with connections hoping for clues as to his Arc credentials.

The Francois Graffard-trained son of Danehill Dancer lost his unbeaten record when fifth in the Prix du Jockey Club on ground quicker than ideal.

The owner’s racing and bloodstock advisor David Redvers said: “He had a slight infection but he’s fine now and reportedly in great form. It’s a suck it and see race but we’re hoping for a big performance, in which case we can start thinking in terms of the Arc or at least a trial. I’d say at this stage the St Leger is looking less likely as Sheikh Fahad would like to keep him to France ideally.”

British runners

The Andrew Balding-trained Scottish will be looking to build on a fine second behind subsequent Secretariat Stakes winner Highland Reel in Goodwood’s Gordon Stakes.

Balding said: “It’s another step up in grade for him but he ran very well at Goodwood. He seems in great form. He’s worked well in soft ground, but whether he’ll handle very soft ground we’ll find out.”

The only other British-trained runner among the three Group races which mark the end of the Deauville August meeting is Johnny Barnes, who represents John Gosden in a hot-looking renewal of the Prix Quincey over a mile.

The son of Acclamation – the only three-year-old in a line-up which also features Faufiler and Dastarhon – was last seen down the field in the Thoroughbred Sakes at Goodwood.

Gosden said: “Johnny Barnes should get his favoured soft ground over there and has been pleasing in his work since his last run.”

“It’s a suck it and see race but we’re hoping for a big performance, in which case we can start thinking in terms of the Arc or at least a trial.”

 

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