Runner-up in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) earlier this month at Goodwood, the Aga Khan's Narniyn will take a third shot at an elite-level breakthrough Aug. 24 in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-I) at Deauville.
The 2,000-meter (about 1 1/4-mile) race for older fillies and mares drew 11 entrants, including English and French classic-placed Secret Gesture.
A 4-year-old daughter of Dubawi, Narniyn initiated a three-race win streak that began last October with a victory in her stakes debut at Chantilly, then followed up later that month by capturing the Prix de Flore (Fr-III) by 1 3/4 lengths from Jean Romanet entrant Gaga A. After more than seven months without a race, she opened this season for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre by taking La Coupe (Fr-III) against males June 12 at Longchamp.
Subsequently tried twice in group I races, Narniyn registered a fourth behind Spiritjim and Noble Mission in the June 29 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. That was followed by a second in the Nassau, when back against her own division Aug. 2 at Goodwood.
Secret Gesture, a 4-year-old Galileo filly, knocked at the door of a group I win three times last year for trainer Ralph Beckett, finishing second in both the Investec Epsom Oaks and German Oaks, and third in the Yorkshire Oaks.
A stakes win at Nottingham June 16 was bookended by a pair of seconds in group II races: the Middleton Stakes in May at York, and the York Stakes July 26 last time out.
Other contenders include recent German stakes winner Red Lips, who placed third in a group I last year in Italy, and French group II winner Pollyana, third behind Cirrus des Aigles in the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) May 25 at Longchamp in her most recent outing.
Darley Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-I), Aug. 24, 2,000 meters 4YO&Up, fillies and mares, (abt. 1 1/4 miles), Deauville
No. PP. Horse (Where Bred) (Sire), Jockey, Trainer
1. 7. Narniyn (IRE) (Dubawi), C. Soumillon, A. de Royer-Dupre
2. 10. Ribbons (GB) (Manduro), F. Dettori, J. Fanshawe
3. 9. Calyxa (GB) (Pivotal), T. Thulliez, F. Leve
4. 8. Pollyana (IRE) (Whipper), F. Lefebvre, J. Hammond
5. 6. Secret Gesture (GB) (Galileo), J. Spencer, R. Beckett
6. 1. Euphrasia (IRE) (Windsor Knot), G. Carroll, J. Murphy
7. 2. Princess Loulou (IRE) (Pivotal), O. Peslier, R. Varian
8. 4. Hippy (FR) (Muhtathir), P. Boudot, E. Libaud
9. 3. Red Lips (GER) (Areion), F. Veron, A. Lowe
10. 11. Gaga A (URU) (T. H. Approval), G. Benoist, D. Smaga
11. 5. Ipswich (IRE) (Danehill Dancer), G. Mosse, A. de Royer-Dupre
All carry 126 pounds.