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Alpine Star can shine bright and give Harrington French bonanza


FANCIED: Alpine Star

FANCIED: Alpine Star

FANCIED: Alpine Star

Frankie Dettori will forego next week's York Ebor meeting and spend some time in quarantine to partner Palace Pier for the "unbelievable" prize money on offer in tomorrow's Prix Jacques le Marois (2.50), but his smash-and-grab French visit may be spoiled.

Seven go to post in the €560,000 Deauville feature but dangers lurk everywhere for John Gosden's St James's Palace Stakes winner in this Group One with an Irish trio looking particularly potent in a stellar field.

This looks a classier renewal than the one which Romanised landed last year but Ken Condon's stable star produced a brilliant performance on his seasonal reappearance and is sure to put up another bold show under Billy Lee.

Aidan O'Brien's Circus Maximus is an admirable performer which was far from disgraced when second in the Sussex Stakes but Jessica Harrington's Alpine Star, another recent Royal Ascot winner, can take the spoils.

Stephane Pasquier retains the mount after being just touched off by Fancy Blue in last month's French Oaks and with weight and sex allowances in her favour, the Sea The Moon filly may prove the value in a competitive affair.

Closer to home, the €45,000 'Red God' Handicap (4.15) heads affairs at Dundalk today and it may pay to side with Charcor (e/w) as Harrington's six-year-old can leave his recent form in the rearview mirror after two abject displays last month on the turf at Cork and the Curragh.

His form on the all-weather reads 3-1-4-1, however,  with both victories coming over this trip and Scott McCullagh's 5lb claim could prove crucial in steering the Choisir gelding home in front while the Moone handler may also have the answer at Cork tomorrow in the concluding Millstreet Handicap (5.30).

Kells stepped up significantly on his previous three career starts when second in a Sligo maiden six weeks ago and there could be more improvement to come under Shane Foley.