What today's French result means for Highland Reel & War Dispatch
A result from Deauville this morning has a timely bearing on today's Secretariat (G1) at Arlington: New Bay, last seen defeating Highland Reel and War Dispatch in the French Derby (G1), came back to take Saturday's Prix Guillaume d'Ornano (G2).
Dispatched as the even-money favorite, the Juddmonte Farms homebred readily took up the baton from his pacemaker and stayed on strongly over the heavy ground. Dariyan, who just beat War Dispatch in the Prix Eugene Adam (G2) at Maisons-Laffitte, produced a game rally for second, but finished 1 1/2 lengths adrift of New Bay.
On one level, today's outcome boosts Highland Reel more than War Dispatch. He finished closer to New Bay when second in the French Derby. And the presence of Dariyan in second here seems to furnish a neat, tidy line keeping War Dispatch one spot below.
On the other hand, War Dispatch probably wasn't best suited by the softish ground last time. The War Front colt figures to enjoy the better conditions on offer at Arlington.
So rather than taking the Guillaume d'Ornano as evidence for one or the other, it might be best to interpret it as a form boost for both Highland Reel and War Dispatch.
Elsewhere on the Deauville card, note that trainer Mikel Delzangles captured the Prix de Lieurey (G3) with Maimara, a filly once under consideration for the Beverly D. (G1). That could be a good omen for his Million (G1) contender, Bookrunner. Hopefully that offsets the fact that Fractional, who beat Bookrunner in the Prix Messdor (G3) last time, flopped over a longer trip in Saturday's Prix Gontaut Biron (G3).
Highland Reel photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos.