08/08/2010 11:01AM

Regal Parade rallies in Prix Maurice de Gheest


Regal Parade garnered his second Group 1 sprint title at Deauville on Sunday, when he held off Joanna to win the 6 1/2-furlong, $327,000 Prix Maurice de Gheest. A member of trainer Dandy Nicholls "school for speed" yard at Thirsk in north Yorkshire, Regal Parade rallied form sixth to lead at the three-sixteenths pole and held Joanna safe by a neck. The winning time on good to soft ground was 1:16.80.

High Standing was third, four lengths behind Joanna, the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained 3-year-old filly who went off as the 3-1 favorite. Recent Prix du Gros-Chene winner Planet Five was never involved, finishing 10th of 15, 7 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

Ridden by trainer Nicholls son Adrian, Regal Parade was ignored by Deauville’s seaside bettors at generous odds of 8.20-1, this despite his recent three-length victory over High Standing in the six-furlong, Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury. A gelded 6-year-old son of Pivotal, Regal Parade had earned his first Group 1 title last September in the six-furlong Haydock Park Sprint Cup, in which he will defend his title Sept. 4.

Joanna, who was coming off victories in the one-mile, Group 2 Prix de Sandringham and the seven-furlong, Group 3 Prix du Palais-Royal, may have found the drop in distance a little too much to handle.

Nicholls, whose given name is David, makes a habit of lifting group and listed race prizes in France and Ireland despite not being employed by any of the big owners in England. His previous Group 1 triumphs include a pair of Nunthorpe Stakes at York with Ya Malak and Bahamian Pirate and the July Cup and the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp with Continent.