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Deauville Sunday Preview – Lethal Force goes for more Group 1 glory

| 03.08.2013

A top class field of 14 turn out for the Group Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday. Clive Cox’s Diamond Jubilee and July Cup winner Lethal Force faces possibly his toughest test to date in the shape of Moonlight Cloud.

The Freddie Head-trained filly has won this event for the last two seasons and got within a whisker of ending the unbeaten record of Black Caviar at Royal Ascot last summer. Lethal Force won the July Cup by blazing the trail and it seems likely that similar tactics will be employed here.

He finished a length and a half clear of Society Rock at Newmarket and confirmed himself the leading sprinter in Europe. The extra half a furlong here could play into the hands of Moonlight Cloud but Lethal Force is a winner over seven furlongs in the past.

It is far from being a two-horse race with the Tom Hogan-trained Gordon Lord Byron and Aidan O’Brien’s Jersey Stakes victor Gale Force Ten also in opposition. Gordon Lord Byron may have come up against a very smart performer in Darwin at the Curragh and will be partnered by the in-form Johnny Murtagh on Sunday.

Ryan Moore journeys over to France to partner Gale Force Ten who was slightly disappointing when only sixth in the July Cup. Andre Fabre’s Tulips and the hat-trick seeking Abu Sidra could be vying for places.

Lady Cecil’s First Mohican is an interesting runner in the Group 3 De Reux Stakes at 2.40. The five-year-old son of Tobougg has not been seen since winning a competitive handicap at York in May.

This is a step up in class for First Mohican and rivals include Maisons-Laffite Listed winner Victorinna and the Andre Fabre duo of Au Revoir and Montclair. Au Revoir was last seen finishing fifth to stable companion Flintshire and that horse is now favourite for the Arc.



Harvey Mayson