Aug. 19 (UPI) -- On the international front, Coronet and Earthlight were the Group 1 winners on Sunday's program at Deauville, while Blast Onepiece scored a Grade 2 win in Japan that could have implications for that country's long quest to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
But the even bigger international racing news comes this week at York in the north of England, where the likes of Enable, Crystal Ocean, Magical and Stradivarius are gathering to provide three high-class days of competition.
Earthlight and Raffle Prize emerged from the pack in the final 100 meters in Sunday's Group 1 Darley Prix Morny for 2-year-olds at Deauville with Earthlight, under Mickael Barzalona, finally edging clear of the favored Raffle Prize and Frankie Dettori. At the line, the margin was a neck, with another 2 1/2 lengths back to Golden Horde in third. Earthlight, a Shamardal colt trained by Andre Fabre for Godolphin, remains undefeated after four starts and Sheik Mohammed was on hand to watch the action.
Earthlight earned a spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint with the win but Fabre did not appear to be looking toward the far side of North America. "He'll go further and he'll be a Guineas horse for sure,"the trainer told Racing Post. "It's a question of whether he runs again this season or just has a break. I would favor Newmarket (over Longchamp)." That would put the colt in the picture for the Group 1 Dewhurst on Oct. 11.
All is not necessarily lost for the Breeders' Cup, though. A'Ali, who finished fifth in the Morny, snagged a spot in the Santa Anita race with a victory in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Trainer John Gosden and Dettori continued their magic summer in Sunday's Group 1 Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville as Coronet shot through inside pacesetting Wild Illusion at mid-stretch and, head held high, strode home first by 3/4 length over With You. Red Tea was third, followed by I Can Fly. Wild Illusion tired to finish sixth of eight. Coronet, a 5-year-old Dubawi mare, scored her second straight Group 1 win, following the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud June 30.
"We were losing count of how many times she was second in a Group 1," Gosden said, "so it's great she's come and won. She had to battle to win the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and a mile and a quarter is probably not her best trip here. It's lovely to get two Group 1s into her."
It's Ebor Festival time in Yorkshire and some of the big guns are out for the prestigious features. How big? How about Enable and Stradivarius and Crystal Ocean and Magical?
Things start with a big bang on Wednesday with the Group 1 Juddmonte International, which promises to be a great, great race even without Enable and Magical, both technically in the race but targeted for the Yorkshire Oaks 24 hours later.
Still in the International field at press time were Crystal Ocean, runner-up to Enable in the King George; the Aidan O'Brien trio of Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, St James's Palace Stakes winner and Sussex Stakes runner-up Circus Maximus; and Grand Prix de Paris winner Japan; 2018 Japan Cup winner Cheval Grand; St James's Palace runner-up King of Comedy, benefitting from the John Gosden-Frankie Dettori magic; and Group 2 York Stakes winner Elarqam, a 4-year-old Frankel colt trained by Mark Johnston.
Wednesday's Group 2 Skybet Great Voltigeur for 3-year-old colts and geldings suffers a bit with some of the better 3-year-olds running in the big race but still is a juicy prize. And Wednesday's Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb for 2-year-olds has a big, you pick 'em field.
Enable and Magical are both left in Thursday's Yorkshire Oaks. But this also would be a good race even without either of the top two, featuring the return of Investec Oaks winner Anapurna, a daughter of Frankel and another with the Gosden-Frankel magic. Gosden, however, may have other plans for Anapurna and also fields Lah Ti Dar. Sun Maiden and Manuela De Vega also have claims.
Enable, of course, is chasing an unprecedented third straight Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe but if Godsen thought this spot would be a relatively soft stepping stone to that race, Magical changes the equation with a wave of the wand. In each of their last two meetings, Enable has prevailed by just 3/4 length over Magical. That said, Enable never looked like losing in either case -- the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf or the Coral-Eclipse.
Liberty Beach, winner of the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood, is the early favorite in a big field for Thursday's Group 2 Lowther for 2-year-old fillies.
Friday's Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe for 2-year-olds and up, 1,000 meters, expects the likes of July Cup winner Ten Sovereigns and Battaash, winner of the King George at Goodwood.
Friday is headlined by the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup, finale of the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Bonus Series, at 3,250 meters. Stradivarius -- gee, another Gosden-Dettori chance -- will be the heavy favorite to cash in the second straight 1 million-pounds bonus with a victory. The secondary feature Friday is the Group 2 Gimcrack for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
The push is on to finally bring the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe trophy back to Japan and the latest contender to land the elusive prize is Blast Onepiece, winner of Sunday's Group 2 Sapporo Kinen. The son of Harbinger scored by a neck over Sungrazer, with Yuga Kawada riding for the same connections as top Japanese filly Almond Eye.
"He beat his rivals with his sheer ability and I'm relieved we got the result we wanted," Racing Post quoted Kawada. "I think he'll go to the Arc with a chance and he'll definitely run better over further."
Fierement was third in the Sapporo Kinen and his rider, Christophe Lemair, said he also remains a viable Arc prospect.