Prix Jacques le Marois 2023: Big Rock rated the one to beat
Prix du Jockey Club runner-up Big Rock is 5/2 favourite with Coral to return to winning ways in Sunday’s Prix Jacques le Marois 2023 at Deauville.
The Christopher Head-trained Rock Of Gibraltar colt has had a superb season so far, starting off with a wide-margin handicap success before progressing up the levels in a three-race winning streak.
The first leg of the hat-trick was the Listed Prix Maurice Caillault, which he won by four and a half lengths, after which he took in the Group Three Prix la Force and was a comfortable winner again.
At the same level, he landed the Prix de Guiche by an unchallenged three lengths and the following month stepped up to an extended 10 furlongs for the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly, running a huge race from the front before Arc favourite Ace Impact ran him down.
“With all the runners standing their ground for Sunday’s Jacques Le Marois, Big Rock is favourite to keep another big French prize at home this season, with Triple Time second favourite to follow up his big-priced victory at the Royal meeting,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
Although Big Rock has already had six outings this year, Head believes his three-year-old is in good shape following a two-month break.
“Everything is all right with him,” said the trainer. “He is in good form and we are pretty optimistic about his run in the Jacques le Marois.
“He has been working well and we are looking forward to having another Group One run with him. He takes his racing very well and is a very nice horse.”
Triple Time has been kept fresh since causing a 33/1 upset in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and is firmly on course for a cross-Channel raid.
His younger stablemate Hi Royal was placed in both the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish equivalent at the Curragh in the spring, but never threatened to land a blow in last month’s Prix Jean Prat.
Ryan said: “Both horses are in good form, Triple Time was very good at Royal Ascot and I’m looking forward to running him again.
“Hi Royal has always been a very consistent horse other than his last start and he’s been working well.
“Neil Callan will obviously ride Triple Time and William Buick has become available and rides Hi Royal.”
Inspiral was a brave winner of last season’s Prix Jacques le Marois under Frankie Dettori and is 9/2 to come out on top again.
John and Thady Gosden’s three-time Group One scorer went down by just a neck to Triple Time at Royal Ascot but has since disappointed in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
5/2 Big Rock
7/2 Triple Time
9/1 Good Guess
12/1 Marhaba Ya Sanafi
All odds and market correct at date of publication