LARC Gheest Preview: Fine guests make a great party

7 August 2020

LARC Gheest Preview: Fine guests make a great party


The intermediate distance of the LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest (Gr1), 1,300 metres or 6.5 furlongs, and its position in the calendar, during a short break in the long sprints' calendar across the Channel, in addition of course to the fact that it brings together the 3-year-olds and their elders, often gather an exceptional attendance. This is again the case this year with Earthlight (Shamardal), who will try to win his 3rd Group 1, his first this season after a delayed comeback, against the English raider Golden Horde (Lethal Force), whom he beat twice last year at the top level but who had an excellent start this season. The old brigade relies mostly on Space Blues (Dubawi), who tries to confirm here his return to the top, like Hello Youmzain (Kodiac), while amongst the best 3-year-olds, Lope Y Fernandez (Lope de Vega) will allow assessing the form on another 2-year-old phenomenon in 2019, Pinatubo, who has just beaten him in the Qatar Prix Jean Prat (Gr1) on this course but over 7 furlongs ...

Yet again, Deauville is about to stage a magnificent race ...


  • 1. RONCEY (h6, FRA by Pivotal and Mixed Intention, by Elusive City) Rating: 103lbs

Trained in the West of France, he started his career with a victory at 2, then won again the following summer at Deauville and went on with six other wins over from 6.5 to 7.5 furlongs between August 2017 and April 2019, with a fifteen months-gap. Yet he was cautiously managed to avoid higher stakes. He was moved form Jean-Claude Rouget to his present one later and still wins every now and then, having kept a low profile until today.

  • 2. SPACE BLUES (c4, IRE by Dubawi and Miss Lucifer, by Noverre) Rating: 117lbs

Trained in England, he finished in the top three of his seven races in 2019 with the exception of his comeback, and in particular in the Jersey Stakes (Gr3, 2nd), the Prix Jean Prat (Gr1, 2nd) and the Prix Maurice de Gheest (Gr1, 3rd). Out from August to March, he failed at Meydan for his return but won for his European comeback on June 7 at Haydock over 7 furlongs, then in the Prix de la Porte Maillot (Gr3), and more easily still most recently at Goodwood in the Lennox Stakes (Gr2), again over 7 furlongs.

  • 3. HELLO YOUMZAIN (c4, FRA by Kodiac and Spasha, by Shamardal) Rating: 118lbs

Trained in England, winner of the Critérium de Maisons-Laffitte (Gr2) at 2, he only ran over 6 furlongs thereafter and won two Group1s across the Channel, including the Diamond Jubilee Stakes ( Gr1) at Royal Ascot in June, before peaking in 5th in the July Cup (Gr1), with an outside draw.

  • 4. BATWAN (g5, FRA by Kendargent and Matwan, by Indian Rocket) Rating: 104lbs

Trained in Mont-de-Marsan, he did not find a buyer for € 25,000 at the yearling sales in Deauville and therefore runs for his breeder. He started racing in the winter of his 3 years at Cagnes-sur-Mer with a victory. Twice second in the spring of 2019, absent a whole year after that, he won on his return in the Prix de Saint-Georges (Gr3) but failed in the Prix du Gros-Chêne (Gr2). He was better last time out over 6 furlongs when 4th in the Prix de Ris-Orangis (Gr3).

  • 5. SPINNING MEMORIES (f5, IRE by Arcano and Hanalei Memories, by Hard Spun) Rating: 109lbs

Trained at Chantilly, she won a Listed at ParisLongchamp over 7 furlongs for her second outing this season after finishing sixth on the Chantilly all-weather for her comeback. She brilliantly confirmed in the Prix du Palais-Royal (Gr3) at Clairefontaine last May. Absent since she is sometimes too keen and has reached her best coming from the rear. She was fourth in this race last year.

  • 6. WOODED (c3, IRE by Wootton Bassett and Frida la Blonde, by Elusive City) Rating: 110lbs

Trained at Chantilly, bought for € 90,000 at the yearling sales in Deauville, he started with a second place in Dieppe in July when he was 2 years old, beaten by a short neck, and immediately won at Deauville over 7 furlongs. Placed in the Prix La Rochette (Gr3) and the Thomas Bryon (Gr3), he won easily for his comeback in 2020 over 6 furlongs in the Prix Texanita (Gr3) then was declared a non-runner because of the softened ground in the Commonwealth Cup. (Gr1). Fourth after leading in the Prix Jean Prat (Gr1) over 7 furlongs, well beaten by Lope Y Fernandez, he is now facing his elders on a little shorter trip.

  • 7. GOLDEN HORDE (c3, IRE by Lethal Force and Entreat, by Pivotal) Rating: 118lbs

Trained in England, bought for £ 65,000 as a yearling, he was one of the best 2yos in Europe last year, when he finished third in the Darley Prix Morny (Gr1) on this track behind Earthlight, who beat him again by a neck in the Middle Park Stakes (Gr1), again over 6 furlongs. Winner for his comeback of the Commonwealth Cup (Gr1) at Royal Ascot, he did well against his elders then when he finished third in the July Cup (Gr1). This is his first attempt beyond 6 furlongs.

  • 8. LOPE Y FERNANDEZ (c3, IRE by Lope de Vega and Black Dahlia, by Dansili) Rating: 115lbs

Trained in Ireland, bought for € 900,000 at the Deauville sales, he was beaten twice by Pinatubo last year but won his Group 3 over 6 furlongs before being clearly beaten by Earthlight in sixth in the Middle Park Stakes (Gr1).

Third for his comeback in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr1), he finished only eleventh in the Commonwealth Cup (Gr1) but was Pinatubo's best rival recently in the Qatar Prix Jean Prat (Gr1) over 7 furlongs on this course.

  • 9. WICHITA (c3, IRE by No Nay Never and Lumière Noire, by Dashing Blade) Rating: 118lbs

Trained in Ireland, bought for £ 140,000 in England at the yearling sales, he ran exclusively over 7 furlongs at 2 and finished third to Pinatubo in the Dewhurst Stakes (Gr1). Second for his comeback in the Two Thousand Guineas (Gr1) at Newmarket for his debut over the mile, then third in the St. James's Palace Stakes (Gr1), he did not manage to accelerate at Goodwood in the Sussex Stakes (Gr1) against his elders.

  • 10. EARTHLIGHT (c3, IRE by Shamardal and Winters Moon, by New Approach) Rating: 118lbs

Trained at Chantilly, bred by his owners, he is undefeated in six outings including five last year at 2, when he won the Darley Prix Morny (Gr1) on this course, then the Middle Park Stakes (Gr1) at Newmarket. His belated return was no less victorious on July 12 over 6 furlongs in a Listed race at Deauville.

  • 11. RESHABAR (c3, FRA by Iffraaj and Rait, by Tamayuz) Rating: 97lbs

Trained at Chantilly, an easy winner for his comeback this season after two losses at 2, he was well beaten in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Gr1) then, and most recently in a Listed also contested over one mile.