The first of three Fast-Track Qualifiers staged in France during the All-Weather Championships, the €36,000 Listed Prix Lyphard (12.50pm UK time) over nine and a half furlongs, takes place at Deauville on Wednesday, November 25.
The winner of the Polytrack contest is guaranteed a start in the feature Betway Easter Classic over 10 furlongs at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 2.
A maximum field of 14 for the Prix Lyphard is headed by talented filly Romanciere (Maxime Guyon), from the powerful stable of Andre Fabre.
Romanciere has made the frame in all five starts so far this year, most notably when third behind Breeders’ Cup heroine Audarya in the G1 Prix Jean Romanet on turf at Deauville in August.
The four-year-old, whose sole success to date came on debut at Longchamp in September 2018, was last seen out when second in the Listed Grand Prix de Fontainebleau on September 16.
Villa Rosa (Mickael Barzalona) also brings in a good level of recent form having gone down narrowly in the G3 La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte in September, a race she won cosily in 2019. She reappears relatively quickly after coming a close fifth on soft ground in the G3 Prix Fille de l'Air at Toulouse on November 11.
Trainer Henri-Francois Devin said of the five-year-old: “We are running Villa Rosa twice in a short period of time, but she took her race at Toulouse very well.
“Toulouse is quite far away from Chantilly but when our horses run there, they arrive the night before and travel home the day after, so they actually recuperate very well.
“We felt she did not lengthen as well at Toulouse as she had done at Longchamp when she was second in the Group 3.
“There is a slight question over the 1900m distance on Wednesday, as her best form is over further, but we know she likes the surface after he run at Chantilly [finished third] at the start of the year.
“If she runs well here, she will then most likely go for a 12-furlong Listed race on the 17th or 19th of December.”
German challenger Aviateur (Jean-Pierre Carvalho/Theo Bachelot) was just denied in the G2 Badener Meile in May before going one better in a nine-furlong G3 contest at Dortmund the following month. He finished fifth in a G2 contest in Italy last time out.
There are two British-trained raiders - Teston (Ivan Furtado/Cristian Demuro), who finished second a Listed race at Nantes in July after winning a handicap impressively at Doncaster, and lightly raced three-year-old Winter Reprise (David Menuisier/Augustin Madamet), a winner on turf at Chantilly in October.
Other interesting contenders include Cagnes-sur-Mer Listed winner Harmless (Ludovic Rovisse/Pierre-Charles Boudot) and Charlesquint (Yann Barberot/Gregory Benoist), who finished third in the G3 Prix Paul de Moussac at Chantilly in June.