Deauville hosts the first of three Fast-Track Qualifiers in France this season, with a maximum field of 16 declared for the Listed Prix Lyphard (3.05pm local time) over an extended nine furlongs on Wednesday, November 29.
The winner of the Polytrack contest receives a free and automatic place in the 10-furlong £200,000 Betway Easter Classic on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.
A high-class line-up includes Subway Dancer, trained in the Czech Republic by Zdeno Koplik and ridden by Christophe Soumillon, who stormed to victory in the 2016 G3 Prix Andre Baboin and was beaten a short-neck in the G2 Prix Dollar at Chantilly on September 30.
Royal Julius (Jerome Reynier/Clement Lecoeuvre) was edged out on his latest outing in the G3 Premio Ribot at Capannelle, Italy, while Silver Look (Satoshi Kobayashi/Fabrice Veron), a dual G2 winner in Argentina, makes her French debut for new connections.
Qatar Racing, who took the 2016 renewal of the Prix Lyphard with Mr Owen, aim for a repeat victory with this year’s G1 Deutsches Derby fifth Promise Of Peace (Andreas Wohler/Thierry Thulliez).
Four British-trained runners include recent Lingfield Park handicap fourth Utmost (John Gosden/Tony Piccone), Sinfonietta (David Menuisier/Franck Blondel) and four-time All-Weather winner Abareeq (Mark Johnston/Ioritz Mendizabal).
Prost, trained in Newmarket by Ed Vaughan, is unbeaten in two All-Weather appearances, having captured a Polytrack maiden at Deauville at the end of last year and stayed on well for a length victory in a mile handicap on Tapeta at Newcastle on October 10. Gregory Benoist partners the three-year-old son of Tin Horse.
Vaughan commented: “Prost was back on a surface that he liked at Newcastle. I had him ready for the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot but he missed the cut and hadn’t been working well through the summer.
“He started to really come into himself before Newcastle, so we were expecting a big run. We are going back to France because he is eligible for French premiums, even though he is German-bred, and we will see if he is a horse that we can travel with over the winter.
“I don’t think the step up to nine and a half furlongs will be a problem, especially as they tend to go steady early on in France. He wasn’t stopping at Newcastle, when he hit a little flat spot and then picked up again.
“I will keep him going over the winter and Good Friday could be among the plans. We might go pot hunting abroad at some point as he is as effective on turf once he gets a nice, flat track and good or faster ground.”
Also on Wednesday, Listed Betway Churchill Stakes victor Master The World (pictured, David Elsworth/Sean Levey) steps up to a mile and a half for the £40,000 Listed 32Red Wild Flower Stakes (6.40pm) at Kempton Park.
The 10 runners also include Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop/PJ McDonald) and multiple Group race winner Western Hymn (John Gosden/Robert Havlin), who were second and fifth respectively behind Titi Makfi over the course and distance in the Listed 32Red Floodlit Stakes on November 6.
Mountain Bell (Ralph Beckett/Martin Harley), one of two runners for Qatar Racing, comes into the race on the back of one start this year when an encouraging fourth in the G3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury on October 28.
Her Majesty The Queen is represented by promising filly Daphne (William Haggas/Jim Crowley), who made her mark at Pattern level last time out with victory in the 32Red EBF Stallions River Eden Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield Park on November 2.
Others to note include Not So Sleepy (Hughie Morrison/Adam Kirby), a winner in handicap company at Epsom on Derby day, and lightly-raced three-year-old filly Astronomy’s Choice (John Gosden/Nicky Mackay).
Kempton Park’s eight-race programme starts at 4.10pm and finishes at 7.40pm.