Horse racing - Electra Niarchos, Colm O'Donoghue, Jessica Harrington

Amazing Alpha Routs French at Deauville

7 months ago

Jessica Harrington’s brilliant filly Alpha Centauri’s stunning run of success continued in continental Europe on Sunday afternoon when the galloping grey slammed the best the French could muster in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.

Given a confident ride by her adoring jockey Colm O’Donoghue, the daughter of Mastercraftsman, who runs in the famous colours of the Niarchos Family, made if four Group 1 victories in a row this term as she slammed the talented Recoletos (13/1) by two-and-a-half lengths, and even had the luxury of being eased down in last 75 yards. Freddie Head’s With You (59/10), an easy winner of the Group 1 Prix Rothschild on his previous outing, was a further three-and-a-half lengths back in third. Irish 2000 Guineas winner Romanised finished fifth, while Eve Johnson Houghton’s Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes hero Accidental Agent beat only one home in the 11 runner field.

This was the first time Harrington’s star had taken on the colts and, as expected by many, she proved far too good  for the opposition.

“I thought I was a bit mad running against the older colts,” beamed Harrington, “but she’s won all her races with such ease that I thought we may as well try this. She’s a once-in-a-lifetime filly for me to train – she’s amazing.

“She worries me sometimes before the race as she’s so relaxed. I think ‘God, is she going to wake up at all!’ When she gets to the front she just keeps going.”

Alpha Centauri is now clear favourite for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 20, with some firms as short as 7/4. However, Ladrokes still offer a top price of 7/2. A crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile in the US on November 3 may also be considered, although that would mean she would have been in full training since late-March. Undeterred, Alpha Centauri has been shortened to a best price 5/2 with Coral for the $2 million showcase contest.

Paul Alster

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.