Earthlight to miss Pinatubo clash in Group 1 Jean Prat in favour of Listed test

Earthlight will make his anticipated return to action in the Listed Prix Kistena at Deauville on Sunday, rather than take on fellow Godolphin star Pinatubo in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat on the same card. 

Unbeaten in five starts at two, the son of Shamardal boasts two Group 1 successes in the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes. 

Earthlight has not raced this season after picking up a minor sprain to a fetlock in April but demonstrated his wellbeing in a racecourse gallop at Saint-Cloud recently.  

Trainer Andre Fabre had long earmarked this weekend and a return to Deauville for Earthlight's reappearance, with the choice of sticking to three-year-old company in either the Jean Prat over seven furlongs or the Kistena at six, or else taking on older rivals in the Group 3 Prix Ris-Orangis.

Godolphin's Lisa-Jane Graffard said on Tuesday: "Earthlight is in great form and will run in the Prix Kistena on Sunday."

Pinatubo had been installed as 10-11 favourite for the Jean Prat in which he will revert to seven furlongs after placed efforts in the 2,000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes.

Meanwhile, Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet is set to make an earlier than anticipated appearance in France after connections decided to have a crack at the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly on July 19.

Michael Bell's sprinter was originally booked to head straight for the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville in August, but the youngster has been so fresh at home that plans have been brought forward.

The Lir Jet was carrying the colours of Qatar Racing for the first time at Royal Ascot, where he reeled in US speedball Golden Pal to give Bell an eighth win at the fixture.

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's organisation stepped in to snap up the son of Prince Of Lir before Royal Ascot after the colt had smashed the all-aged track record on his debut at Yarmouth in June.

David Redvers, racing manager to Qatar Racing, said: "I saw The Lir Jet at home last week and he was so fresh and well that the trainer thought he could need another race before the Prix Morny.

"The Robert Papin looks a nice fit and he doesn't have to carry a Group 2 penalty for some reason, which is a bonus. Hopefully it will then be onwards to the Morny."

British runners have an excellent record in the Robert Papin, which is staged over five and a half furlongs and usually run at Maisons-Laffitte, having won the last six runnings. The most recent to complete the Robert Papin/Prix Morny double was the Karl Burke-trained Unfortunately in 2017.

Bell himself has never won the Robert Papin but landed the Prix Morny with Pretty Pollyanna in 2018.