Czech Republic star Nagano Gold is set to have his next run in the Grand Prix de Deauville next month with connections eyeing a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe later in the season
A previous course winner at Deauville, Nagano Gold finished fourth behind the Charlie Appleby-trained Loxley in the Group 2 last year and is set for another tilt at the €200,000 event on August 25.
The five-year-old, trained and owned by Vaclav Luka jnr, was unlucky in running when a fast-finishing second behind Defoe in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
Defoe gets the better of Nagano Gold in the Hardwicke Stakes, photo Liesl King
Tomas Janda, racing manager to Luka jnr, said: "He's come out of the Ascot race fine and in good form. We'll most likely run him in the Grand Prix de Deauville with a view to going for the Arc should he run well.
"The Arc is a race we feel could suit him well and of course it is a race full of seriously talented horses. The Prix Foy is an option beforehand to see how he fares at the track.
"Christophe [Soumillon] felt he would have won at Ascot without the incidents at the start and in the straight but nevertheless it was a great day for everybody involved, albeit we were a little bit unlucky.
"He's a super horse for racing in the Czech Republic. He's the best in the country and central Europe."
Connections considered a quick return to Ascot for a tilt at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes but decided against supplementing at a cost of £80,000, with the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Berlin at Hoppegarten another option on August 11.
Janda, who is a representative for Tattersalls in central and Eastern Europe, said: "We did give it plenty of thought after his good run at the royal meeting but decided against it. There are plenty of opportunities later in the season that do not require supplementing."
Nagano Gold's conqueror in the Hardwicke will return to Ascot for the King George on Saturday week with Sheikh Mohammed Obaid's Defoe priced at 10-1 in the ante-post market, headed by dual Arc heroine Enable at 4-6.
Defoe's trainer Roger Varian said: "He's in good shape and fully deserves to be in the line up. He's solid, uncomplicated and should there be any chinks in the armoury of the top two he'd be there to exploit them, we hope.
“He's ultra-consistent, has a wonderful attitude and a lot of ability, he'd just have a little to find on ratings with the top two."