Saturday, 23rd May 2020
Call The Wind resumed winning ways with a valuable handicap victory in Saudi Arabia last time out, so off revised terms appeals most for the 1m 7f Group 3 Prix de Barbeville at Deauville on Sunday (15:25).
Trained by Freddy Head for George Strawbridge, this six-year-old won the 2018 Prix du Cadran on Arc weekend. Although he didn’t get his head in front at all last season, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
As Call The Wind carried Group 1 penalties in his domestic campaign, many of those efforts can be upgraded. He was also a fine third to Cross Counter in the Dubai Gold Cup – giving 6lb to the 2018 Melbourne Cup hero.
This Frankel gelding placed on two other occasions in Group 2 company, conceding 4lb to Marmelo over course and distance in the Prix Kergorlay in August. Call The Wind went down by just three-quarters of a length.
He was also far from disgraced when runner-up in the defence of his Prix du Cadran title. Call The Wind meets old rival Holdthaisgreen off 6lb better terms here, so should reverse form.
As he filled the same spot when giving 8lb weight-for-age away to Technician in the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp too, he has leading claims of Prix de Barbeville glory.
Call The Wind beat fellow globetrotting Flat stayers Mekong, Prince Of Arran and Cross Counter quite comfortably at Riyadh on reappearance in February. This is easier on paper and thus looks a nice opening to follow-up.
Despite giving weight all-round to his four rivals, Holdthaisgreen rates the main danger. Now an eight-year-old, the Hold That Tiger gelding won the Prix de Barbeville last year.
Holdthaisgreen is now a standing dish in these French Group races for stayers. As the oldest in this line-up, however, he does look vulnerable after 33 career starts.
He clearly retains plenty of ability on his day, as showed with Prix du Cadran glory last October. However, Holdthaisgreen failed to confirm the form in the Prix Royal-Oak.
As he finished behind Call The Wind off level weights when dropping down in trip to this distance, it’s hard to fancy him. Holdthaisgreen has a Group 1 penalty of 6lb here, so race terms are against him.
Call The Wind has more often than not got the better of him too. For those reasons, Holdthaisgreen is worth taking on in this renewal but the other three runners don’t have his level of form.
It may therefore be worth backing Call The Wind and Holdthaisgreen in a straight forecast. The others all have to improve on their career bests.
Due to his fine course record and progression towards the end of last season, Diluvien is one to consider each-way.
This five-year-old has won two of his four career starts at Deauville. Although both of those came in handicap company they were over this trip or slightly further.
Diluvien had two cracks at Listed level in the autumn and won the second of those at Saint-Cloud. He gave 5lb and a short-head beating to Japanese bred filly Endorphine, who has since been an unlucky runner-up this term.
The French Flat staying division isn’t blessed by strength-in-depth. Libello ran just last week for the fourth time this year and ran to market expectations when seventh.
A race like the Prix de Barbeville in which he was sixth last year demands more from him. Or Gris – the sole four-year-old in the race – gets weight all-round but needs a big step forward.
In a shallow renewal, Diluvien is the only each-way angle in a race Call The Wind makes strong appeal to win.