Some of the best milers from Britain, Ireland, France and Japan converge on Deauville to do battle in the Group One Prix Jacques le Marois (1,600m) on Sunday.
With only superstar Baaeed missing from the field, the path is clear for one of the five Group One winners in the contest to confirm their place as Europe’s second-best miler.
Coroebus is the obvious contender to fill that spot after wins in the 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes this season. The three-year-old is rated 121 after those two successes and has tasted defeat only once in five races in his career.
Representing Charlie Appleby, who trains for the powerful Godolphin operation, Coroebus was all out to win at Ascot last time but the slow pace may not have suited as he seems at his best when stamina is placed to the fore.
Still lightly raced, he is open to plenty of improvement but he is forced to concede four pounds to a potentially sensational filly with the same rating who is seeking to bounce back from a disappointing reversal last time.
Inspiral was beaten at odds of $1.14 when failing to extend her unbeaten streak to six in the Group One Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last time. It’s easy to forgive a filly one poor run and if she returns to the form of her scintillating Coronation Stakes success at Royal Ascot, she could well get the better of the boys.
Falmouth winner Prosperous Voyage benefited from Inspiral’s lacklustre run last time but had been beaten three times by that filly previously and this would be another surprise success.
State Of Rest has been a real warrior for Joseph O’Brien, winning Group Ones in Britain, France, America and Australia. A four-year-old with an iron constitution, his best form has come over 2,000m but he will be making the pace and it will take a truly tough performer to outbattle him late.
Erevann is an intriguing French runner with the fewest miles on the clock in the field. Unbeaten in his three career races, he won a Group Three at Chantilly on his last start and is certain to improve under Christophe Soumillon.
Elsewhere on the Deauville card, Jack Darcy can confirm the promise shown by his Goodwood run to take the Listed Prix Nureyev (2,000m) with Tom Marquand in the saddle, while Neversay finished in front of a subsequent Group winner last time and can come out on top in the Group Three Prix Francois Boutin (1,400m).
The Prix Jacques le Marois is not the only Group One being simulcast by the Hong Kong Jockey Club on Sunday as Hoppegarten in Germany hosts the 132nd Grosser Preis von Berlin (2,400m).
Only five entries were received for the race on Monday, with all of them German trained, but the field is now up to eight after three supplementary entries on Wednesday.
The most interesting of those is British raider Rebel’s Romance, who is also trained by Appleby. The winner of six of his nine career starts, his rating of 113 would not normally entitle him to win a European Group One but this race looks ripe for the taking.