Classy miler Palace Pier returns to France in hope of becoming the first back-to-back winner in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville, but the four-year-old faces some serious competition in 2000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare and last season’s runner-up Alpine Star.
John & Thady Gosden’s star was impressive in the contest last year, coping with the heavy ground to win by three-quarters of a length.
The Kingman colt did suffer a blip in the QEII Stakes back in October, but he has stormed back into form this season with the four-year-old claiming success on all three of his starts this year.
He is a seriously tough runner to beat on his day and it will take something special to beat him.
However, that could come in the form of Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare who has produced several big performances in Group 1 company this season.
After following in the footsteps of his sire Dawn Approach in winning the 2000 Guineas, the three-year-old has been a familiar face in the big contests.
He finished a neck second to stablemate Mac Swiney in the Irish 2,000 Guineas before returning to winning ways at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
The colt did finish second to mud lover Alcohol Free at Goodwood last month, but he clearly has the ability and is one to watch out for at Deauville.
Last year’s runner-up Alpine Star aims to go one better this for Jessica Harrington, while Aidan O’Brien’s Order Of Australia and Richard Hannon’s Chindit also make the trip to France.