There hasn’t been a spring quite like the one currently being experienced. The industry has seen a major shake-up of how feature races will be programmed and this weekend at Deauville there will be a remodelled but exciting two-day festival. This will be highlighted by the running of the first two Classics of the season – G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulines and Pouliches.
Aside from the two big races there is plenty of other Group action including on Sunday two traditional Chantilly G2 races – Grand Prix de Chantilly (2500m) and Prix Gros Chêne(1000m).
A small but select field will contend the Grand Prix de Chantilly. There is a lot to like about the promising Ziyad. He is the winner of last year’s Grand Prix de Deauville over this trip and was second in this race earlier in the season in June.
French King had a strong 2019 delivering four winning races in succession including a 2400m G1 in Germany. Way to Paris already has the advantage of a run this month finishing second in the G2 Prix d’Harcourt at Longchamp (2000m) while defeating a quality field over an unsuitable journey.
Finsbury Square won the Prix Gros Chêne in 2018 and will be making his seasonal reappearance. Now an eight year he is was an early product of Siyouni who has subsequently progressed to become Frances’ leading sire. The field will consist of an even group of sprinters with most having the opportunity to graduate to this level. Horses such as Sestilio Jet, Batwan, Gold Vibe and the progressive We Go have all been nominated.