€200,000 Lucien Barrière Grand Prix de Deauville (Gr2): Jack Darcy finds his way

27 August 2023

GP Deauville 23 Jack Darcy

Photo scoopdyga.com


Sunday, 27th August 2023, Deauville La Touques Racecourse (Calvados) - Five contenders lined up for the €200,000 Lucien Barrière Grand Prix de Deauville (Gr2), following the withdrawals of the outsider Diamond Vendôme and the favourite, Junko.

The biggest outsider of the race, the British raider Jack Darcy (Gleneagles), took the lead, followed by a line made of Haya Zark (Zarak), Fenelon (Fastnet Rock), Al Nayyir (Dubawi), and the betting favourite from Germany, Assistent (Sea The Moon).

On a soft track, they set a strong pace, and despite all their efforts and favourable positions, the chasers never caught up with the pacesetter. Jack Darcy secured victory by a good length over Al Nayyir, who showed fine finishing speed here, and almost two lengths ahead of Haya Zark, who couldn't quicken over this perhaps slightly too long distance.

A 4-year-old gelding, one year younger than the runner-up who is also gelded, Jack Darcy covered his final three furlongs in 35.09 seconds, just on twentieth of a second slower than Poker Face over the Quincey mile only minutes before. Moreover, his final 5 furlongs was three-tenths better!

Jack Darcy was sold for £19,000 as a weanling and then £24,000 a year later to his trainers, Paul and Oliver Cole; the father has already saddled five winners of this Deauville's classic event.

Last year, his weanling brother by Invincible Spirit fetched £38,000. The dam, Pretty Face (Rainbow Quest), never raced, like her own dam Modena (Roberto), who had nervetheless given two Group 1 winners and is the dam of another Group 1 winner!

To date, Jack Darcy is Pretty Face's best foal. Having undergone wind surgery and castration at 2, he nevertheless started that year with a victory in his sole outing of the season. Last year at 3, he notably finished second in Deauville's Prix Nureyev (L) over 1 1/4 miles but couldn't confirm afterwards. Twice fifth this season in May and July, he then finished second over 1 1/2 miles in the Glorious Stakes (Gr3) at Goodwood before faltering over 1 11/16 miles at Newbury in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes (Gr2).