Davies had three bogeys in the first six holes, but then hit six birdies for a 10-under total of 205. Horsey profited from an eagle on the sixth hole to shoot a 67 on the Golf du Palais Royal course.
“So far, so good. I’ve played pretty well the last few days and I’m pretty happy to be at the top of the leaderboard,” Davies said. “I’m looking forward to a good battle tomorrow.”
Davies, defending a title for the first time as a professional, and BMW International Open winner Horsey will start Sunday’s final round with a one-shot lead over South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl, who had seven birdies in a 65.
“It would mean a lot to get that second (title) win under my belt,” Davies said. “Every time I go out there I aim to win the tournament and when you’ve got a chance to compete, I really enjoy it. And I’ve got that chance tomorrow so I can’t wait.”
Horsey, meanwhile, felt he could have done a little better but was confident of pushing Davies all the way.
“The birdie chances dried up a little bit on the back nine, but then I did manage to chip-in for birdie on 15,” Horsey said. “Should be great tomorrow. Rhys is a great player and the defending champion so he is going to be very tough to beat, but hopefully I can play my own game and give him a run for his money.”
George Coetzee of South Africa and Mikko Ilonen of Finland were two shots off the lead after both carded a 69.
Joost Luiten of the Netherlands shared the overnight lead with Davies but managed only a 71 to sit tied for sixth.
Coetzee made a great start to his round with three consecutive birdies before adding an eagle on the fifth hole, but then slumped to four bogeys which deprived him of the lead.