Head targeting Gheest glory
Last Updated: 10/08/14 2:19pm
Freddy Head: Fine record in the Maurice de Gheest.
Freddy Head fields Thawaany as he goes in search of an incredible seventh win since 2006 in Sunday's Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.
While Thawaany could not be held in the same regard as Head's two previous three-time winners of the Group One, Marchand D'Or and Moonlight Cloud, the four-year-old is an improving type.
The filly has won four of her eight career starts, and Head does not think she will be inconvenienced by the likely very soft ground as much as some of the others in the race.
"She's a nice filly," said Head. "She didn't run much at two as she had some problems but she is over them all now.
"Last time she won her Group Three nicely, so she has certainly earned her place in this.
"Soft ground won't be a problem for her, she handles it fine. She'll probably handle it a lot better than most of the others.
"Unfortunately she hasn't got a good draw (15) but there's nothing we can do about that.
"She's a very talented filly and it would be amazing to win the race again."
One rival who does not want to see the mud flying is Roger Varian's Aljamaaheer.
A smart miler last season, he has reverted to sprinting with some success this term, finishing third in the Diamond Jubileee.
He disappointed in the July Cup, although Varian believes they got the tactics wrong on that occasion.
"The ground is a concern," said Varian. "It has to be really, but we are committed and are going over. We'll see what it's like when we get there.
"He's obviously not going to get fast ground, which is what he wants to be at his best.
"He's in good order and has come out off the July Cup well, but that didn't go to plan. We got it wrong that day.
"We know the form of the Diamond Jubilee is strong, though, and he's a good horse.
"This race is very tempting as you'd think six and a half furlongs would be his ideal trip possibly.
"I can issue a positive on the well-being of the horse, but would have to issue a concern about the ground.
"It's very hard to plan at this time of year because of the weather. When it's hot and humid you tend to get heavy rain which can turn the ground in no time at all.
"But also you may get heavy rain at one spot yet five miles away miss it altogether.
"It's frustrating but it's the same for everyone so there's no point fretting over it."
William Buick believes Gregorian should have plenty in his favour on Sunday.
The five-year-old was last seen finishing third in the July Cup, beaten a length and a half by Slade Power over six furlongs.
He runs over half a furlong further in France and Buick expects the trip, as well as the soft ground, to suit John Gosden's charge.
He said: "The ground is very soft so that should suit him.
"It was a really good run last time in the July Cup and six and a half furlongs should be perfect.
"He's a good, honest horse and he should run a good, honest race hopefully."
Irish interests are held by the Eddie Lynam-trained Viztoria, while last year's Cheveley Park Stakes winner Vorda is one of three three-year-olds along with Lady Cecil's Joyeuse, Frankel's half-sister.
Willie McCreery's Fiesolana drops in trip having run well over a mile this season and John Gosden's Gregorian looks to back up his excellent run in the July Cup.
David Simcock's Caspar Netscher makes his return, with the consistent Sommerabend supplementing the home team.