It's another Group 1 Sunday in France and the Racing Post's Robbie Wilders has a pair of fancies in the two top-level contests at Deauville.
Blackbeard @ 1/1
Aristia @ 6/1
The Prix Morny (1.33) has only attracted five runners this season but all arrive in Deauville with some sort of chance.
Richard Fahey won this last term with Norfolk hero Perfect Power and The Ridler bids to follow suit.
We haven't seen The Ridler since he veered right across the track when victorious at Royal Ascot and he needs to prove he stays an extra furlong, which is far from guaranteed on pedigree.
Persian Force was readily brushed aside by Little Big Bear in the Phoenix Stakes when last seen but he met a special juvenile there, and has surely been found an easier Group 1 by trainer Richard Hannon.
Aidan O'Brien saddles two and Blackbeard looks the pick of his pair. Blackbeard was a late withdrawal in the Phoenix but carried a higher official rating than Little Big Bear prior to the race.
The son of No Nay Never was narrowly held by Persian Force on their meeting in the Coventry Stakes three starts back, but he has evidently improved since and Ryan Moore's decision to ride Blackbeard over The Antarctic, who he slammed by three lengths in brilliant style at Chantilly last time, is surely significant.
The Antarctic has a course-and-distance success on his CV by virtue of his Group 3 strike over Manhattan Jungle last time, although there are no obvious reasons why he can reverse previous form with Blackbeard.
The strapping colt is fancied to open his account at the highest level before tackling Group 1s closer to home.
The other Group 1 up for grabs in the south of France is the Prix Jean Romanet (2.50) and we have a fascinating contender in Verry Elleegant.
The race essentially revolves around the well-being of last season's Melbourne Cup heroine, who bagged 11 successes at the highest level in Australia.
She has left Chris Waller and runs for French trainer Francis-Henri Graffard for the first time following a 134-day break.
If Verry Elleegant is at her best she will win, but there are enough doubts about her to consider alternatives. It is also worth noting she returned a beaten favourite on her final two runs in Australia.
Paddy Twomey can do no wrong and his rapidly improving mare Rosscarbery is feared, but the value in the race may lie with Aristia.
I wondered whether Aristia was simply a York horse. She twice ran to an extremely high level on the Knavesmire, firstly downing Group 1 winner Alpine Star in a Listed race there last season before beginning her four-year-old campaign in May with a Group 2 half-length second to the smart Lilac Road.
Aristia took a backwards step at Royal Ascot in the Wolferton next time but it was much more like it from the daughter of Starspangledbanner at Glorious Goodwood in the Nassau Stakes behind Nashwa, where she managed to reverse York form with Lilac Road in second.
My selection is still quite lightly raced and open to some improvement, while conditions are in her favour. That was a top performance and she can expose any vulnerabilities in Verry Elleegant at likely decent odds.