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Horse Racing

Palace Pier preserves unbeaten record as Frankie’s French gamble pays off at Deauville in the Prix Jacques le Marois

FRANKIE’S French gamble paid off as the brilliant Palace Pier won a huge prize in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

Legendary jockey Dettori chose to ride John Gosden’s colt at Deauville, with new quarantine rules meaning he will have to sit out York’s Ebor Festival this week.

Palace Pier preserved his unbeaten record at Deauville on Sunday

And his decision was vindicated as the top-class three-year-old preserved his unbeaten record with a ruthless performance in the €600,000 race.

In a star-studded field, Aidan O’Brien’s Circus Maximus helped force a strong gallop on testing ground.

Dettori was patient in the early stages aboard the 11-10 favourite, and he began to inch closer to the leaders with around three furlongs to run.

Jessie Harrington’s Alpine Star, who was ridden by Dettori to win at Royal Ascot in June, was the only horse who could go with Palace Pier as he quickened into a narrow lead.


But she was soon brushed aside as the red-hot jolly powered through the mud to win easily.

Gosden said: “I think it was pretty clear watching the race that he wasn’t enjoying the ground. I saw Frankie moving his hands, and he was still fully 600 metres from home, but the horse showed a lot of guts and a lot of class.

“His main target will be the QEII on Champions Day at Ascot. Everything will revolve around that, although most importantly everything depends on how the horse feels once we get him back home.”

Reflecting on the Dettori’s decision to ride in France, Gosden said: “We sat down and discussed it, and I said to Frankie I thought both horses would take a lot of beating if the ground wasn’t too bad, and obviously the prize money is so good.”