January 27, 2023

Alpha Centauri favored in Prix Jacques le Marois, a WAYI for BC Mile

Alpha Centauri, shown in her course-record Coronation, racked up her fourth straight Group 1 in the Marois (c) Photo courtesy of Ascot Twitter

Not only is it one of the more important mile races of the season in Europe, but Sunday’s Prix Jacques le Marois (G1) at Deauville has been a crucial stepping stone to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), for which it is a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race.

The Niarchos family, which campaigned Miesque (1987-88), Spinning World (1997), and Six Perfections (2003) to victories in the Jacques le Marois and Breeders’ Cup Mile in the same season, will be represented Sunday by three-year-old filly Alpha Centauri, dynamite winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas (G1), Coronation (G1) at Royal Ascot, and Falmouth (G1) at Newmarket in her past three starts.

Though this will mark her first attempt against males, Alpha Centauri’s primary challenger might be another three-year-old filly. With You wheels back in two weeks following a three-length win in the Prix Rothschild (G1) over the same course and distance.

Trainer Freddy Head won the Jacques le Marois six times as a jockey, most notably with Miesque, and has saddled three winners of the race, most notably three-time Mile heroine Goldikova (2009), who also prepped successfully in the Prix Rothschild.

The three-year-old male division will be represented by Intellogent and Cascadian, who were separated by a neck in the Prix Jean Prat (G1) last time, and Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) upsetter Romanised, seventh in the St James’s Palace (G1) when last seen in June.

The leading contenders among the older males are Accidental Agent, 33-1 upset victor of the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot, and Recoletos, seventh in the Queen Anne after victories in the Prix du Muguet (G2) and Prix d’Ispahan (G1) to start the season.