08/11/2017 2:56PM

Taareef, Al Wukair rematched in Prix Jacques le Marois

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Barbara D. Livingston
Thunder Snow, a contender Sunday in the Prix Jacque le Marois at Deauville, has hit the board in his three starts since being pulled up in the Kentucky Derby.

Taareef takes a three-race winning streak into Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois for turf milers at Deauville Racecourse in France on Sunday.

His leading rival is a familiar foe - Al Wukair, a 3-year-old colt who was second to Taareef in the Group 3 Prix Messidor at Maisons-Laffitte Racecourse outside of Paris last month.

They are the two leading runners in a field of six in Sunday’s $827,960 race, which is formally known as Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le Buffard Jacques le Marois.

The winner will receive a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on Nov. 4.

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As of Friday, Al Wukair was a slight favorite at 7-4 with European bookmakers, while Taareef was 9-4.

Taareef, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, was seventh in the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville in 2016, his only other appearance in a Group 1. Taareef won the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Chantilly last October and a Group 3 at Chantilly in June.

Al Wukair, trained by Andre Fabre, was third in the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse in May in his Group 1 debut, and was two lengths behind Taareef in the Prix Messidor on July 16.

Taareef is the only 4-year-old in the field of six, which includes the first three finishers of the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf at Chantilly on July 9 – Thunder Snow, Trais Fluors, and Gold Luck.

Thunder Snow was pulled up in the Kentucky Derby on May 6 after he began bucking shortly after the start. Thunder Snow has finished in the first three in his three subsequent starts.

Fabre also trains Trais Fluors and Inns of Court, who was sixth in the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville in May.

Thunder Snow and Inns of Court are owned by Godolphin Racing, who have two leading contenders in Sunday’s Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Berlin at Hoppegarten Racecourse in Germany in Hawkbill and Racing History.

Hawkbill won the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket on July 13. Racing History was second in the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Bayern in Munich last November. The top German-based runner is the $206,500 race at 1 1/2 miles on turf is Dschingis Secret, the winner of two Group 2 races in that country this year.

In Ireland, Beckford, unbeaten in two starts, will have his Group 1 debut in Sunday’s $295,000 Phoenix Stakes for 2-year-old colts and fillies at six furlongs on turf at the Curragh. Beckford won the Group 2 Railway Stakes in his stakes debut on July 1 for trainer Gordon Elliott, who is best known for his success as a steeplechase trainer.

Beckford is part of a field of eight that includes four runners trained by Aidan O’Brien, a group led by Sioux Nation, the winner of the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.