Victor Ludorum and Midtown carry Godolphin’s hopes in the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois against some of Europe’s top milers at the Deauville racetrack on Sunday.
Also lining-up in the eight-runner race is Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed’s Palace Pier who is returning to defend his crown on the back of three impressive wins this year.
Challenging them are Jim Bolger’s 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes victor Poetic Flare and last season’s runner-up — Jessica Harrington’s Alpine Star.
It means Andre Fabre’s pair Victor Ludorum (Mickael Barzalona) and Midtown (William Buick) are facing a tough battle to secure top prize.
Victor Ludorum bids for a second Group 1 prize over the straight mile at Deauville after winning the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at the course last year.
The Shamardal colt, who was also successful in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as a two-year-old, has come forward with each start this term and readily won the mile Group 3 Prix Messidor at Chantilly in July.
Midtown is a three-year-old who makes his fourth career start after a hugely promising third on his seasonal return in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat over seven furlongs at the same track also last month.
Before that, the Dubawi colt scored decisively on both his juvenile appearances, including a two-length verdict in a Chantilly Listed race.
“This has been the target for Victor Ludorum all year and it is very exciting to see him back over the straight mile at Deauville on good ground,” Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin was quoted in their website.
“It’s obviously a very competitive Group 1 and he will have to be at his very best, but we feel that he is.
“Andre couldn’t be happier with Midtown’s progress since the Prix Jean Prat. He has thought an awful lot of the horse since his debut last year and the only question mark is whether he is more effective on softer ground.”
Godolphin stars Dubai Millennium, Dubawi and Ribchester have won the prize previously and this year’s race that has drawn eight runners is set to be another exciting edition.