Updated on 09/15/2011 12:51PM

Deep field for French mile


Sunday's Prix Jacques le Marois certainly lives up to its Group 1 billing, as six of its 10 runners have won at that exalted level.

Banks Hill is the 2-1 favorite to land this important weight-for-age mile on the Deauville straight course. A full sister to Dansili, Banks Hill was the overpowering winner of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Although her trainer, Andre Fabre, has assigned Banks Hill's regular rider, Olivier Peslier, to ride Vahorimix, who was placed first in the French 2000 Guineas after the disqualification of Noverre, Richard Hughes is a capable replacement.

Noverre is the big Godolphin-owned threat to Banks Hill. A half-brother to Arazi, he defeated older horses on Aug. 1 in an impressive two-length score in the Sussex Stakes and will have Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

The Group 1 victory of Olden Times came in the 1 1/8-mile Prix Jean Prat, while that of French Derby runner-up Chichicastenango was in the 1 1/4-mile Grand Prix de Paris, so a mile may be a bit too short for them. German invader Proudwings, the lone older horse in the lineup, has won Group 2 miles at Saint-Cloud and Newmarket this year. She and her Group 2-winning countrymate, Royal Dragon, are both dangerous