Integral primed for Rothschild
Last Updated: 01/08/14 1:53pm
Sir Michael Stoute's Integral goes in search of a second successive Group One win in Sunday's Prix Rothschild at Deauville.
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned filly was an impressive winner of the Group Two Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot on fast ground and then answered doubts about her ability to handle a softer surface when a clear-cut winner of the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
She looks the archetypal Stoute improver and while only four go to post in France this weekend, they include the 1000 Guineas winner Miss France, her Andre Fabre-trained stablemate Esoterique who beat Integral earlier in the season and L'Amour De Ma Vie, second to Integral at Ascot.
Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park, said: "She's been very progressive this season and was most impressive in the Falmouth. She remains in good form at home
"There are only four going to post but the other three are all top-class in their own right so it's a trappy little race.
"We now know she's as effective on ground with a bit of cut as fast ground so we're unconcerned on that front.
"We're happy to keep her to a mile for now as we know she's very effective at it but there's a possibility of her staying in training next year and we may look at having another go at 10 furlongs then.
"We'll just take it step by step."
Miss France was beaten just over a length back in fifth when stepped up in trip for the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and while her connections do not feel that conclusively proved she does not stay the mile and a quarter, they are happy going back to a mile for now.
Anthony Stroud, spokesman for owners Ballymore Thoroughbred Ltd, said: "She endured a bit of bad luck in the Diane, she got stopped in her tracks just as she was quickening up.
"Her dam (Miss Tahiti) was second in that race so I wouldn't say she didn't stay, I just think the winner (Avenir Certain) is very good. They went a slow pace and it was one of those things. If you ran the race again you may see a different result but the winner is very good, there's no doubting that.
"That was only her third race of the season and she'd won the Guineas before that so we know she's very effective over a mile.
"There are only four fillies but the other three are very good indeed, it will be very competitive.
"It could be a messy race like we saw for the Sussex Stakes this week. I hope one of the others decides to go on but if nothing does we have the option.
"It's very hard to make all over a straight mile, though."