Godolphin's Earthlight aims to extend undefeated run at Deauville
Space Blues also in contention at Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest
Earthlight will look to extend his undefeated run to seven as he spearheads Godolphin’s two entries in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday.
Joining the Andre Fabre-trained Sharmadal colt is Charlie Appleby’s Space Blues in the 11-runner field run over the six and-a-half furlong trip.
A one-time 2000 Guineas prospect Earthlight suffered a sprained fetlock that ruled him out of the English Classic on June 6.
Returning to action, Earthlight showed he had lost nothing when landing the Listed Prix Kistena on July 12.
He now remains on course for a third Group 1 prize after victories in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville and Newmarket’s Middle Park Stakes last year. Mickael Barzalona, who has been on board Earthlight in all six races, is atop him again.
“Earthlight’s juvenile form is among the best around and he comes into this race in excellent condition,” Fabre told the Godolphin website.
William Buick partners Space Blues as he returns to the Group 1 level on the back of a career-best victory in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood on July 28.
The Dubawi colt is unbeaten in three European starts so far this season, including the seven-furlong Group 3 Prix de la Porte Maillot at Longchamp in June.
“Space Blues has come out of the Lennox Stakes in good form,” Appleby said of the four year old.
“He ran well in this race last year and, with the way he has performed so far this year, we are heading back very confident that he can run a big race.
“Every time he has stepped up in grade this season, he has won more impressively, while he has performed well at Group 1 level on both his previous starts at Deauville.”
Elsewhere on Sunday, Godolphin’s Shared Sense looks to further his Kentucky Derby ambitions as he takes on Art Collector for a second time at the Ellis Park Derby over nine furlongs on dirt at Ellis Park.
The Brad Cox-trained Street Sense colt was runner-up to Art Collector in a Churchill Downs allowance optional claimer over an extended mile in June, with the winner going on to further success in the Group 2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland the following month.
Shared Sense won his last start in a course record time over nine furlongs at Indiana Grand in the Group 3 Indiana Derby on July 8.
“Shared Sense bounced out of the Indiana Derby in good order and has had two works at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Ellis Park Derby,” Cox said.
“This is another step up and a solid race, with Art Collector the deserving favourite, but our horse is doing well.
“When we ran against Art Collector the first time, we were at the back of the pack with no pace on, but Shared Sense ran on and I was pleased with the effort.
“They almost broke the track record, so the track was quick, and it was a big effort from our horse. Art Collector went on to pick off a Group 2 very impressively and both horses seem to be going the right way at the moment.”
Updated: August 8, 2020 08:14 PM