Mr Owen home for Christmas as he chases Listed glory for Simcock and Qatar
12.50 Deauville, Saturday
Prix Luthier (Listed) | 7.5f | 3yo+ | all-weather
He is not quite driving home for Christmas but Mr Owen returns to the country where he has spent most of his career to contest this Listed contest.
Owned by Qatar Racing, Mr Owen joined David Simcock this year and has produced two good thirds, the most recent of which came in the Listed Hyde Stakes at Kempton last month.
However, a shortage of suitable races means the five-year-old is travelling back over the Channel on Saturday, and Simcock said: “There are a lack of options for horses like him so we have to go where the races are.
“We were delighted with his run last time over a mile. This looks a competitive race, more competitive than we might have expected, but he’s in good order and has travelled well.”
Trainer Harry Dunlop is no stranger to France either, with the likes of stable star Robin Of Navan producing his best performances across the water, and he is hoping Early Morning can build on his runaway victory at Lingfield last month.
His five-length, all-the-way win came in a conditions race and Dunlop said: “We were thrilled with his performance last time at Lingfield, he was very impressive.
“He clearly likes Polytrack and as a homebred we'd be delighted if he could get some black type for the mare. We’ll try the same tactics as last time and give it a go.”
A trio of British raiders is completed by the David Elsworth-trained Speculative Bid, a winner at Doncaster most recently, while the pick of the other nine runners looks to be Zalamea, who was beaten just a length and a half by Aclaim in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret.