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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 20th August 2023

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from The Curragh & Deauville

The Curragh

Qatar Racing And Equestrian Club Irish EBF Curragh Stakes (Listed) 3.30
Aidan O’Brien’s No Nay Never colt was way out in front of the far side group in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June, and has progressed from there without losing the maiden tag yet. This should be as good a chance as any, with Son Of Corballis, who beat him by a neck in the Listed Tipperary Stakes now running under a 3lb penalty. That should be enough to swing things in Alabama’s favour, despite the wide draw, and he’s the one to beat

Fitzdares Royal Whip Stakes (Group 3) 4.05
This well bred Justify filly stepped up a gear when sent out over course and distance last week, so if fully recovered from that has to be the one to keep on side. She in all fairness had a relatively easy run in that Listed contest, getting to the front early on and proving tough to reel in, but can take another step forward here. Layfayette rates the obvious danger, but does need to bounce back from an ordinary showing in the Ballyroan Stakes at Naas two weeks back, and these are the one-two for Group 3 honours

Comer Group International Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (Group 3) 4.35
With the withdrawal of last year’s St Leger winner, Eldar Eldarov, this Trial can go to Dermot Weld’s Shamida. The veteran trainer has a decent staying prospect in his yard here, the Australia filly showing plenty of spirit to just get the better of Divine Jewel in the Stanerra Stakes at Leopardstown last month. Up against the boys here, but one going the right way and should go close


Sumbe Prix Alec Head (Group 2) (Fillies) 12.58
Lumiere Rock
An interesting clash in the first of the Pattern races on Deauville’s Sunday card. The selection, Lumiere Rock, was fourth in the Irish Oaks on soft ground, whereas Jannah Rose was sixth in the Prix de Diane, the French Oaks. Both should be right in the mix eased in grade here, but Lumiere Rock edges it on this likely heavy going. Ryan Moore will know just when to press the button when this is run as a typical French contest, so gets the nudge on Lumiere Rock

Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) 2.50
Via Sistina (nap)
One of the finds of the season, who already has the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, and the Pretty Polly at The Curragh under her belt this term. She was a creditable third in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last time out, so is clearly capable at this level, but does have Irish raider, Above The Curve, to keep her honest. The home team have Marquesse De Sevigne lining up, who won the Group 1 Prix Rothschild here over 7 furlongs last month, so a cracking race in store

Sumbe Prix Morny (Group 1) 3.25
Ramatuelle (nb)
Christopher Head’s Ramatuelle looks the one to follow in the feature. She’s got plenty of speed, and showed that to good effect when landing the Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly last time out, getting plenty of daylight to score by 4 lengths. With Aidan O’Brien’s River Tiber having suffered a setback in the run up this race, the best of the raiding party may be Karl Burke’s Elite Status, who won with a bit in hand in the Prix de Cabourg here three weeks ago. However, this is a big step up in grade, so Ramatuelle gets the big tick at the top of the market

Sumbe Prix Kergorlay (Group 2) 4.00
The Good Man
Stephane Wattel’s The Good Man beat our selection, River Of Stars, to land the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil at ParisLongchamp last month, so gets our vote for this stayers Group 2. In twenty-seven starts on the turf, he’s been in the first three a remarkable twenty times, so has proved his consistency at these extreme trips on all sorts of ground. He found plenty for pressure when holding off River Of Stars last time out, and can score once again before heading over to Ascot on Champions Day for the Long Distance Cup. Easy to back

The Mandarin

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