Abandon hope of Morny glory

Trainer Clive Cox is excited about seeing unbeaten juvenile Reckless Abandon shoot for Group One glory in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville tomorrow.

The Norfolk Stakes winner took a step up to six furlongs in his stride when landing the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte last month.

He now returns to France for his first start at the highest level.

“Everyone at home is very happy with him,” said Lambourn-based Cox.

“He’s in great nick and I think he has continued to progress physically.

“I’ve been very happy with his progress.

“I hope a similar level of performance to what he produced at Maisons-Laffitte will be up to having a huge chance in Sunday’s race.

“We’re quite excited about it and if he can remain unbeaten and win at Group One level, it will be fantastic.”

Reckless Abandon is joined on the trip from Britain by the Richard Hannon-trained duo of Alhebayeb and Sir Prancealot, who finished second in the Robert Papin, and Moohaajim from the Newmarket yard of Marco Botti.

Alhebayeb impressed in the July Stakes at Newmarket last month and Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, feels he deserves his place in Group One company.

“Richard tells me the horse has been in very good form since Newmarket and hopefully he can run a decent race,” said Gold.

“I still think he’s a horse who is going to get seven furlongs and he’s a lovely horse at home.

“Richard thinks he’s sharpened up since Newmarket but he’s one of those that doesn’t show much at home, so it’s hard to tell.

“He’s not a flashy worker but he’s a thoroughly genuine horse and he’ll stay every yard on Sunday.”

Sheikh Hamdan has an interesting second runner in Mazameer, trained by leading French handler Freddie Head.

He won a Group Three over course and distance in late July.

Gold said: “He’s a really nice horse and the only time he got beat he was a bit slow into his stride – he got stuck behind a wall of horses and the winner had flown.

“He made all the running last time, but I think he’s more experienced now.

“He looks in great shape and I think the fast ground will suit him. We don’t quite know the correlation between the English and French form, but he’s a very smart little horse.

“I’m sure there are cleverer people than me who could tell you which of our two runners were better, but I wouldn’t want to at the moment.”

Moohaajim takes a big jump in class after impressing in an Ascot maiden on his only previous start.

Botti said: “The horse is really well and I have been very happy with him since he won at Ascot.

“This is a big step up in class for him, but he is a horse who went through the breeze-up preparation before we bought him and that extra experience will help him.

“It looks a good field on Sunday, but whatever happens I don’t think our horse will disgrace himself.

“Going from a maiden to a Group One, I would be a bit unrealistic if I said he has a very good chance to win, but I hope he will run a big race.”

Aidan O’Brien sends Parliament Square and George Vancouver on the trip from Ireland. Zenji, Pearl Flute, Penny’s Picnic and Snowday complete the 11-runner field.


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