Lady Aurelia was an impressive winner of the Queen Mary Stakes
PICTURE: Getty Images
By Scott Burton 7:15aM 21 AUG 2016
Preview: France, Sunday
Deauville: Darley Prix Morny (Group 1), 6f, 2yo, colts and fillies
FOR MANY the defining memory of the whole five days at Royal Ascot will have been the sight of Frankie Dettori blasting seven lengths clear of his rivals, clad in the yellow silks of Curlin and Rachel Alexandra.
Lady Aurelia now attempts to follow 2013 Norfolk Stakes winner No Nay Never in landing the Morny on a second transatlantic return trip in a little over eight weeks, a feat trainer Wesley Ward also came close to replicating when Hootenanny was second here in 2014.
“She had a little bit of an easy time when we first went back, we put her in light training,” said Ward. “We didn’t do any speed work or anything like that, but the closer we got to it we started cranking her down and matching her with some very nice fillies.
“Just as she did at Ascot she just overpowered them in her work, and she seems to be right back up to where she was.
“She’s by far the best filly I’ve had and hopefully there are big things to come in the future.”
What that future might be is hinted at in an entry for the Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes, a race Ward is yet to tackle.
Dettori will know from Ascot that Lady Aurelia is far more switched-off than some of the horses Ward has sent previously, meaning he should have plenty of options tactically.
“This filly seems like she can sit behind horses and use that kick whenever need be,” said Ward. “A lot can happen in 24 hours but today we’re looking great.
“The soft ground was a little bit to our advantage at Ascot. Not going into the race but coming out of it because, when the ground is soft, horses generally come out of races a little better. It’s blue skies at the moment but there will be no excuses either way.”
Umberto Rispoli has been keeping the saddle warm for Dettori on Lady Aurelia in the mornings this week.
“If you didn’t know she was a sprinter you wouldn’t guess from sitting on top of her, she has a beautiful temperament,” said Rispoli after taking Lady Aurelia for a gentle spin round the all-weather yesterday morning.
“I’ve ridden a lot of sprinters in Hong Kong and they’re always into the bridle but she’s different. But she can switch from relaxed to go very quickly. I spoke to Frankie yesterday and told him he’d need a parachute to stop her at the end of the race.”
Tis Marvellous ‘in very good nick’
Lady Aurelia will face four rivals in Deauville, including the Clive Cox-trained Tis Marvellous.
“He has pleased us with his progress and that’s confirmed what we thought of him in the Papin,” said Cox. “This is a very hot contest but I’m delighted he’s running. He’s trained well since his last run, he has travelled over well and appears to be in very good nick.”
The Group 2 Papin was a drop back in trip from the son of Harbour Watch’s first two starts and confirmed Tis Marvellous as a seriously speedy juvenile.
Cox added: “He’s very versatile because the Papin is five and a half furlongs, while he won over six at Windsor before that, so I’m quite relaxed. We were confident dropping back as he’s quick but I’m very confident he stays the six well. It’s going to be very interesting.”
Aidan O’Brien sends over Peace Envoy, whilst the two French contenders are the Al-Shaqab-owned Al Jarrah, and Alrahma for trainer Freddy Head.