Thunder Snow & Inns Of Court challenge for Jacques le Marois honours


Three-year-old colts Thunder Snow and Inns Of Court bid for glory in one of Europe’s top mile contests, the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois, at Deauville, France, on Sunday, August 13. 
Thunder Snow (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) is going for a third major French success and returns to the country after making all for a decisive win over in the G1 Prix Jean Prat over a mile at Chantilly on July 9. 
The son of Helmet stormed to victory in the seven-furlong G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud in October and also scored twice on dirt at Meydan, UAE, earlier this year, including when gaining a short-head verdict in the G2 UAE Derby over nine and a half furlongs. 
Inns Of Court (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) has won on four of his five starts, with the only defeating coming when his saddle slipped in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, run over the same course and distance as the Prix Jacques le Marois, on May 14. 
All of the Invincible Spirit colt’s victories have come over seven furlongs, including two comfortable G3 victories on his latest outings – in the Prix de la Porte Maillot at Deauville on July 1 and the Prix du Palais-Royal at Maisons-Laffitte on June 3. 
The six runners for the Prix Jacques le Marois also feature Taareef and G1 2,000 Guineas third Al Wukair, the first and second in the G3 Prix Minerve, plus the runner-up and third from the Prix Jean Prat - Trais Fluors and Gold Luck. 
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Thunder Snow won well last time in France and came out of that race in good order. 
“This will be a tougher race for him, but he is a colt with a lot of class. 
“His last piece of work went very well and I am hoping for another good result.”
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin commented: “Inns Of Court is unbeaten apart from the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, in which he suffered a tack malfunction. 
“He is very well and has been pointing towards this race for some time. The return to a mile should be no problem – he has plenty of speed but his pedigree suggests that he should get this trip. 
“We are hoping that he can continue his progress.”
A busy day for Godolphin at Deauville also sees Andre Fabre saddle a couple of three-year-old fillies, Saxon Rose (Mickael Barzalona) and Lady Montdore (Pierre-Charles Boudot), in the G3 Prix Minerve over an extended mile and a half. 
Saxon Rose was the easy winner of a 12-furlong newcomers’ race at Clairefontaine on June 30, while Lady Montdore captured a Saint-Cloud maiden, also over 12 furlongs, on June 15 before taking second over the same course and distance in the Listed Prix de Thiberville on July 14. 
Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin added: “Saxon Rose won very nicely on her debut at Clairefontaine. She had previously gained some racecourse experience in a schooling race and she is a nice filly, who is progressing all the time. 
“Mickael Barzalona has chosen to ride her and conditions should suit. She is coming into this race as a bit of an unknown and we hope to find out some more about her ability. 
“Lady Montdore has done really well on her two appearances this year and is a filly with a nice turn of foot. 
“She has more experience compared to Saxon Rose and should run a nice race.”
Royal Associate (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), by Cape Cross and unbeaten in two starts, steps up to Listed level for the Prix Michel Houyvet, with Street Cry filly Agathonia (Henri-Alex Pantall/Mickael Barzalona), fourth in the Prix de Thiberville, also running in the 15-furlong race for three-year-olds. 
Two-year-old colts Cascadian (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona), by New Approach, and Mythical Magic (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), by Iffraaj, who made impressive winning debuts at Chantilly and Ascot respectively, run in the Listed Prix Francois Boutin over seven furlongs.