Garrus gains deserved Deauville sprint victory
Garrus claimed his first Group Three success with a convincing victory for trainer Charlie Hills in the Prix de Meautry at Deauville
The 11-2 shot appeared to relish the good ground in France, having run consistently well up to Group One level all summer in Britain but failed to score since starting his campaign with a conditions win on the all-weather over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton in March.
Up at six furlongs here, as on his previous three starts, the five-year-old grey was always close to the pace from stall one under Ioritz Mendizabal and hit the front a furlong out en route to victory by a length and a quarter from favourite Duhail.
Paddy Power responded by shortening Hills’ gelding to 25-1, from 66-1, for the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October.
Hills will take his time before committing to that target, but confirmed Garrus is at this stage unlikely to take up a much earlier Group One entry in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock.
The Lambourn trainer said: “It will probably come a bit too soon, I would think.
“It’s great to win a Group Three, and now I hope we can start looking at other better races again.
“But there aren’t too many of them now left (in Britain this season).
“We’ll see how he comes back and work from there, do the right thing by the horse.”
Garrus’ programme will not be entirely dictated by ground conditions, but Hills acknowledges a sounder surface may be preferable.
We'd been putting him in the deep end a bit, so we were quite conscious that we wanted to find a slightly lower-grade race
“He’s quite versatile with the ground,” he added.
“It was absolutely bottomless when he ran at Windsor and was second to Dream Of Dreams, but I think he does appreciate a bit faster ground really.
“We were really patient with him last year – the horse never ran, but we were just never really happy with him.
“We got him gelded through the winter, and ever since then he’s been moving so much better and running a lot better as well.
“We’d been putting him in the deep end a bit, so we were quite conscious that we wanted to find a slightly lower-grade race.”
There was also Group Three success at Deauville for Dilawar, in the Prix Quincey.
Christophe Soumillon delivered Alain de Royer-Dupre and the Aga Khan’s lightly-raced gelding down the centre of the track, and Dilawar picked up well to be easily on top at the line.
His two-and-a-half-length victory, at 9-2 from Now We Know, was his third in just four career starts – dropping down most effectively to this mile trip, having previously won at up to a mile and a half.
Glycon was the odds-on winner of the Group Two Grand Prix de Deauville, for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and jockey Christian Demuro.
In a select field of five, the 5-6 favourite hit the front two furlongs out and held on tenaciously to win by half a length from The Good Man, striking at this level for the first time after two previous Group Three wins.
The winning trainer said: “He’s had two quick races, so I shall have to discuss the next race with the owners.
“He really doesn’t want to go much further than this (extended mile and a half), and he likes the softer ground, so we might look at Prix du Conseil (at ParisLongchamp in October).”
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox