Deauville sounds warning for Derby
DEAUVILLE restaked his Derby claims by chasing home Master Eagle in the San Miguel Tankard at Sha Tin on Sunday.
His reputation had taken a knock when trailing in last of 11 to Privilege in the National Panasonic Cup on his previous start, but Patrick Biancone's smart young galloper put the record straight at the weekend with a solid return to action after a two-and-a-half month absence.
After a moderate initial split, Right Way set a good gallop and the winning time of one minute and 35 seconds leaves little doubt that this is a race to trust.
Master Eagle certainly looks set to continue making his presence felt in the best company. Given time to find his stride by Greg Childs, he displayed a quality turn of foot to win his race from the 300-metre mark and clocked a career high Topspeed rating of 87 into the bargain.
But, with the richest race on the domestic calender fast approaching, the performance of greatest importance was surely that of Deauville.
Just as you should always look at the facts and figures before getting carried away with the manner of an easy victory, it is wrong to condemn an animal on the the basis of just one disappointing effort and, his October 28 start apart, this son of Groom Dancer had always provided the figures to back up the impression that he was a star in the making.
In his Griffin season he consistently produced top-flight speed figures, ranking second only to Red Jeans with a rating of 68, and his first outing of the current campaign could only be described as outstanding, with a Topspeed rating of 81 clearly promoting Deauville as a future champion.
Okay, so he he fell short of that effort on Sunday but this performance still left no doubt that soemething was amiss last time and a speed figure of 70 clearly confirms that he is back on track for the Derby.