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Alpha Centauri takes on the colts in France

11 Aug 2018

Easy winner of Coronation Stakes and Falmouth Stakes will clash with Queen Anne winner Accidental Agent.

O’Donoghue and Harrington and Maria Niarchos after Alpha Centauri’s qin in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes. Picture: Steven Cargill /

Series stars Alpha Centauri and Accidental Agent will clash in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday.

Alpha Centauri has been dynamic this season, gaining runaway wins in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket after landing the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.  

Colm O’Donoghue has been aboard her for all those Group 1 triumphs and expects the Niarchos family-owned three-year-old, trained by Jessica Harrington, will be more than a match for the colts. The bookmakers concur and she is no bigger than Evens to win again.

“She’s in good form and came out of the Falmouth really well,” the jockey said. “Obviously she’s flying over there for the first time and Group 1s are never easy to win, but we are going there full of confidence.”

In the Falmouth Stakes, O’Donoghue decided to make all. “We were drawn next to the rail iand she’s such a straightforward filly I just wanted to keep it as simple as possible for her really,” he explained. “I knew I was sat on the best filly, so it just made sense to ride her like that.”

Accidental Agent belied odds of 33-1 when landing the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and the form was franked when Lightning Spear, who finished third, subsequently landed the Qatar Sussex Stakes.

Trainer Eve Johnson Houghton said of the best-priced 12-1 chance: “Everything has gone to plan with him since Ascot and we couldn’t be happier. We aren’t really bothered what the ground is like.”

The home team is led by Freddy Head’s filly With You, an easy winner of the Prix Rothschild last time out. She is 6-1 second favourite, while Cascadian and Intellogent, who dominated  the Prix Jean Prat last time, meet again.

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