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Tight fight expected in Critérium de Maisons-Laffitte

12 October 2017

Runner-up in the Gr.3 Prix Eclipse over 1200m (6f) at Maisons-Laffitte just over three weeks ago, Coeur De Beaute returns to dispute the Gr.2 Critérium de Maisons-Laffitte, for two year-olds over a similar distance, in a bid to secure her first black-type success.
Mauricio Delcher Sanchez’s filly will take on a quartet of colts, three of which make the trip from the British Isles. Said the trainer of his horse’s chances, “She showed great courage last time but was beaten by a better horse. She had previously finished second in a Deauville Listed and although we were concerned by the extra 200m, she kept something back and battled until the end. She came out of the race well and should give a good account against the foreign horses.”
Yann Barberot’s French Pegasus finished third, 1¾ lengths behind, in the Prix Eclipse but his handler remains bullish about his chances. “The race was never on his agenda since I hadn’t wanted a hard race. He is starting to mature and may be able to turn the tables on Coeur De Beaute.”
As for the raiders, Gr.2 Richmond Stakes runner-up, Nebo, looks the biggest threat. He recently ran a good third to James Garfield in the Mill Reef Stakes and with Olivier Peslier in the saddle can be assured a competent ride. The well-related Romanised, who could manage no better than sixth in the Gr.1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, latterly came off second best in the Gr.3 Solario Stakes and looks in with a respectable chance. Rounding off the field is the Harry Dunlop-trained Fighting Irish who has won two of his last three, and while never tested at this level, won a nursery handicap by five lengths at Yarmouth three weeks ago, and is deemed worthy of his place in this line-up.
Picture: Delcher Sanchez's Coeur de Beauté