Watch Me and Romanised Headline Sunday’s Prix Du Haras de Fresnay-le Buffard - Jacques le Marois at Deauville for Free Berth into TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile
DEAUVILLE, FRANCE (August 9, 2019) – The 3-year-old filly Watch Me (FR), winner of the Coronation Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and the 4-year-old Minstrel Stakes (G2) winner Romanised (IRE) lead an eight-horse field in Sunday’s straight course, one-mile Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le Buffard – Jacques le Marois (G1) at Deauville on the northern coast of France. The winner of the Prix Jacques le Marois gains an automatic berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
TVG will televise Sunday’s Prix Jacques le Marois, which has an approximate post time of 10:25 a.m. ET.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is an international series of 86 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on Nov. 1-2.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the pre-entry and entry fees for the Jacques le Marois winner to start in the TVG Mile. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. If not Breeders’ Cup eligible, the Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 21 to receive the rewards.
Alexander Tamagni-Bodmer & Mme Regula Vannod’s Watch Me, trained by Francis-Henri Graffard and ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, shocked the Royal Ascot crowd as the 20-1 winner of one-mile Coronation for 3-year-old fillies on June 21, surging to the front in the final furlong for 1 ¼-length victory over the even-money favorite Hermosa (IRE). The victory was the third in five starts for the bay daughter of Olympic Glory (IRE) out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Watchful (IRE). Watch Me began 2019 with a win at Maison-Laffite on April 10 in the seven-furlong Prix Imprudence (G3), holding off the favored Suphala (FR) by a neck.
Her only disappointing race thus far came next when she finished sixth over a heavy course in the one-mile Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliche (G1) (French 1000 Guineas) on May 12 at ParisLongchamp, still beaten just 2 ¾ lengths for it all. This will be the second time that Watch Me will face male rivals, having broken her maiden in open company at Toulouse in a one-mile listed race last November.
After a six-race stretch of off-the-board finishes, Robert Ng’s Romanised put it all together at the Curragh on July 20 in the seven-furlong Paddy Power Minstrel, taking the lead inside the final 150 yards and securing a one-length victory as the 2-1 second choice.
A bay son of Holy Roman Emperor (IRE), trained by Ken Condon, Romanised, the 2018 Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) winner, had a good run finishing fourth in traffic at Royal Ascot in the “Win and You’re In” Queen Anne Stakes (G1) on June 18, beaten 1 ¾ lengths. Prior to that, he finished fourth in the one mile Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newbury on May 18. Romanised will be ridden on Sunday by Billy Lee.
Condon also has entered Ng’s 7-year-old Success Days (IRE), who was third in the Huxley Stakes (G2) two starts back at Chester.
Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile three straight years with Goldikova (IRE), will start their 3-year-old Shaman (IRE)in the Prix Jacques le Marois. A chestnut son of Shamardal, trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, Shaman has two wins in four starts this year. After taking the listed Prix Omnium II on March 17 at Saint-Cloud and the 1 1/8-mile, Group 3 Prix la Force at ParisLongchamp on April 7, Shaman finished a strong second, one length behind Persian King (IRE) in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (G1) (French 2000 Guineas) at ParisLongchamp on May 12. Shaman, ridden by Maxime Guyon, finished fifth in the St. James’s Palace (G1) at Royal Ascot.
Godolphin’s 3-year-old Line of Duty (IRE), trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by James Doyle, won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs by a half-length in a tight three-horse photo that required a stewards’ inquiry. But this year, the bay son of Galileo (IRE) has managed just seventh-and ninth-place finishes in the Dante Stakes (G2) at York, and in the Investec Derby (G1) at Epsom, respectively.
Also of interest is Flaxman Holdings’ 4-year-old Study of Man (IRE), trained by Pascal Bary and ridden by Stephane Pasquier, winner of the 2018 Prix du Jockey Club (G1) (French Derby).
The Prix Jacques le Marois is the seventh “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile this year. The first six to have qualified are: Do It Again (SAF), winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) at Kenilworth, South Africa; Tamburo Di Oro (CHI), who won the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) in Santiago, Chile; Bolo (USA), winner of the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita, Indy Champ (JPN), who captured the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in Tokyo, Japan; Lord Glitters (FR), who won the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, and the recently retired Too Darn Hot (GB), who won the Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 championship races (13 Grade 1 events and one Grade 2 race) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Royal Ascot, and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown. The 2019 Kentucky Derby posted a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 16.5 million viewers across NBC and NBC Sports Digital platforms – up 10% from last year’s race (15.0 million) featuring eventual Triple Crown winner Justify and marking television’s largest Saturday audience since the NFL Divisional Playoffs (Jan. 12, 2019).
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