It was very nearly the international racing story of the summer when Nagano Gold failed by just a neck in the Hardwicke Stakes in his bid to become the first ever Royal Ascot winner for the Czech Republic.
Trainer Vaclav Luka jnr has named the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp — a course in which he has form having landed the Listed Prix Lord Seymour — as the ultimate target for the son of Sixties Icon but he must first overcome seven rivals in the Group 2 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville.
"He was also entered in the Group 1 in Germany [Grosser Preis von Baden] but we have decided on Deauville because it is better timing ahead of the Arc de Triomphe, which is his main target this season," said Thomas Janda, racing manager to the Luka stable.
"It is probably a little easier than the German race and perhaps also the Grand Prix de Deauville last year, when he was fourth and the pace was unsuitably slow for him.
"This time we have put in another horse [the 77-rated Premier Lion] and, without giving away too much in terms of tactics, hopefully that scenario won't repeat itself and he can run up to his best."
As at Ascot, Nagano Gold is partnered by Christophe Soumillon while the opposition is headed by Ziyad, who failed by just a short neck to make all in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud when caught by Coronet on the line.