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Saffron Beach in top trim ahead of Prix Rothschild assignment

3 minute read

Jane Chapple-Hyam has no qualms about Saffron Beach heading to Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup should she successfully come through her latest examination in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville on Tuesday.

SAFFRON BEACH.
SAFFRON BEACH. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

The four-year-old daughter of New Bay has won three of her last four outings, including last season's Group One Sun Chariot at Newmarket and the Group Two Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot six weeks' ago.

The filly, whose stable name is 'Petal' after her dam, Falling Petals, was accompanied by her trainer on the trip to Deauville, where she will take on six rivals in the Group One contest over a mile.

She has taken the trip in her stride, according to Chapple-Hyam, who said: "She travelled really well and got here Sunday night, and she has eaten up and drank overnight.

"We are very pleased with her. It is a small, competitive field, but I feel she is good enough for the task ahead.

"I came in the horsebox with Petal. I know how she has travelled and she has turned into a really good traveller now.

"She was always a little bit sticky as a younger horse, but even when we do go to the Breeders' Cup, I won't be nervous about her travelling. She is a good girl now. Everyone is here – the owners have flown in – and we are looking forward to it."

Saffron Beach, who is owned by Lucy and Ben Sangster and their son, Ollie, in partnership with James Wigan, will again be ridden by William Buick, who stole a march on his rivals at Ascot.

She made virtually all the running that day and her trainer has few concerns should there be a lack of pace in the race.

Chapple-Hyam added: "If we have got go on and lead, we will do. She made all in the Sun Chariot and at Ascot, just about."

There is a strong international flavour with Ireland's Aidan O'Brien returning to Deauville to saddle Prix Jean Prat heroine Tenebrism, who has yet to win over a mile, and Paddy Twomey responsible for Pearls Galore.

The latter won back-to-back races over a mile to start her five-year-old campaign – in Listed company at Leopardstown and when scoring in a Curragh Group Two.

Despite a runner-up effort to Order Of Australia when taking on the boys over seven furlongs in the Minstrel at the Curragh on her previous outing, Twomey is looking for a happy homecoming for the daughter of Invincible Spirit.

"Hopefully she will go well. That's the plan," said Twomey. "It has been the plan all year.

"(Owner) Andreas Putsch, his farm (Haras de Saint Pair) is in Deauville and she was born and reared in Deauville. She is French, so the plan is to take her back and go and win there.

"Her run in the Minstrel was a good effort. She hadn't run for a while and it was an ideal preparation for this race and it was a lovely distance apart. Hopefully that will have brought her forward the necessary amount.

"It is a Group One – they are hard to win – but I'd would be hopeful she will run a very good race."

Last-time-out Deauville Listed scorer Kennella has plenty to find with Saffron Beach on her last-placed effort at Ascot and lightly-raced four-year-old Goldistyle, from the Carlos Laffon-Parais yard, may be more of a threat after going close in a Chantilly Group Three last month. Her dam, the brilliant Goldikova, won this race four times (2008-2011).

Last season's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf runner-up Malavath was well supported for the 1000 Guineas, but finished 10th of 13 to Cachet.

Her trainer, Francis-Henri Graffard, initially felt she did not see out the mile at Newmarket, yet reversed that line of thinking after she disappointed back over seven furlongs in a ParisLongchamp Group Three in May.

"Basically, her trip to Newmarket was not very successful," said Graffard. "It looks like she didn't stay the trip of a mile, so I dropped her back in trip over seven (furlongs).

"That, unfortunately, was the wrong decision. The filly needs a mile, so we gave her a little break and she is ready to go again.

"She was not beaten far last time, but she was always off the bridle, running after them. Basically, she should be better over a mile.

"It is a very strong race, but she is a Group Three winner this year and we don't have many options for her. She has won at Deauville already, she has won at the track and she is in top form."

Sibila Spain, who is best-judged on her Group Two Prix du Muguet win at Saint-Cloud rather than her last-place finish in the Falmouth, completes the line-up for the home guard.

Ryan Moore will again partner Tenebrism for Ballydoyle maestro O'Brien, the pair having won this race twice before with Roly Poly (2017) and last year with Mother Earth.

O'Brien said: "She's in good form and everything has gone well since the last day.

"It's up to a mile again, it was seven the last day, and we're looking forward to seeing her run.

"She has loads of speed, it was seven the last day against colts, and it'll be interesting slowly stepping back up again."


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