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2019 Prix Morny tips – French favourite to Light up Deauville and repel British raiders

Deauville races.

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this fantastic Group One at Deauville and provides readers with his tips for Deauville on Sunday 18th August.


On Sunday afternoon, a capacity crowd will flock to Deauville to take in a card containing two lucrative Group Ones. Before a field of fillies strut their stuff in the Prix Jean Romanet, some of the finest juveniles in the sport do battle in the Prix Morny, a six-furlong sprint won by many of the sport’s greats since it’s creation in 1865.

Excitement swept through the flat racing world when the final confirmations were made for Sunday’s renewal. Three Royal Ascot champions and two pattern-race winners feature among the eight-strong field, in what could turn out to be one of the races of the entire season!

Brian Meehan will have been impressed with Aroha’s efforts this term, but the fact remains she's still a maiden after five career starts and her presence on Sunday is merely to make up the numbers. Devil won nicely on his stable debut and Royal Dornoch secured a decent finish at Goodwood. Neither have the quality, nor the experience of the five ahead of them in the betting and the winner will come from one of the more fancied runners.

I’m now going to try and whittle this talented quintet down to one winner and the first I’m going to tentatively rule out is Raffle Prize

Mark Johnston has decided to pitch his filly in with the boys - instead of another battle with her fellow fillies in the Lowther Stakes - and, from stall two, the Queen Anne Stakes winner should be able to find her way to her favoured position at the front. French races, however, often favour those from coming off the pace and Johnston’s filly seemed to enjoy firmer ground at the July Meeting. I could see her getting bogged down in the closing stages after cutting out the early running.
Golden Horde proved he was a classy colt at Glorious Goodwood, holding off hot-favourite Threat to win the Richmond Stakes. Clive Cox - who won the Prix Morny with Reckless Abandon in 2013 - has rightly given his charge the chance to impress in a Group One showing an impressive turn of foot at Goodwood. Golden Horde has, however, never experienced ground this deep before and it could take the zip out of his legs.

That battle between Golden Horde and Threat at Goodwood advertised the form of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, won by Aidan O’Brien's Arizona. A huge sway of support came for Arizona has he was shoved into the stalls and the boys at Ballydoyle were left delighted, as Ryan Moore’s mount swooped around the outside of the leaders to claim victory.

Despite winning, Arizona looked quite green that day. Aidan O’Brien has been very patient with him, while his stablemates have been out at various big festivals. I’m sure Arizona is a horse who will continue to improve as he mature, but I never get the feeling O’Brien’s horses really want soft ground – especially his sprinters – and he could struggle a little for finishing pace, in with some colts who look better suited to sprinting.

This leaves me with two to chose from, one of which being Simon Crisford’s A’Ali. Following a good win in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, Crisford’s colt bolstered his Morny chances with a good victory in the Prix Robert Papin here at Deauville, where Frankie Dettori had to work hard from a difficult position on the shoulder of the main pack to secure a narrow victory.
Crisford has decided to swerve a dramatic tilt at the Nunthorpe to keep A’Ali within his own age group and the extra half-furlong he will face here shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. While A'Ali holds significant appeal, I thought EARTHLIGHT’S triumph in the Prix de Cabourg was extremely impressive and I fancy Andre Fabre’s charge will rubber-stamp his budding star quality with a maiden Group One triumph on Sunday.

Following a routine maiden victory at Maisons-Laffitte, Earthlight outlined his huge potential on his second start here at Deauville, cruising home to beat a future Listed winner by a couple of lengths. Mickael Barzalona then guided Earthlight into his pattern race debut, where he latched onto Godolphin stablemate, Well Of Wisdom in the early going.

Barzalona still sat quietly in the favourite's saddle as James Doyle started to get to work on Well Of Wisdom Passing the two poll, Earthlight was angled out and told to win the race and Fabre’s charge never looked back, pounding clear down the home straight to win by four lengths.

The way this son of Shamardal finished off that race suggests there’s plenty more improvement to come. Earthlight is two-from-two here at Deauville, he goes well on very soft ground and Barzalona should be able to find some cover behind the leaders after being drawn kindly in stall five. Only two French horses have managed to win the Prix Morny in the last 15 years, but I’m expecting the home crowd to roar Earthlight home on Sunday.

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2019 Prix Morny tips – French favourite to Light up Deauville and repel British raiders

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this fantastic Group One at Deauville and provides readers with his tips for Deauville on Sunday 18th August

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