They resume racing in France Monday at Longchamp and in fairness to them they aint messing about, it’s a decent card. As if to confirm the desire of many to get racing again a total of 1,069 horses were entered for the three resumption fixtures at Longchamp, Toulouse and Compiegne! It is an early start with the first due off at 9.55 in the morning – no lockdown lie-in if you fancy a punt.
I had a few bets pencilled in, but one way or other opportunities are slim for those of us who have been waiting so patiently for some action. There are some difficult handicaps which I won't bother with with such little recent form to go on so that leaves the four Group races on the card.
The biggest race of the day is the 1m2f Group Two Prix d'Harcourt due off at 1.05. Jean-Claude Rouget’s Sottsass will line-up but is odds-on. Winner of the French Derby last year and a very respectable third in the Arc he looks heads and shoulders above this line-up if anywhere near his best and you wouldn’t get Evens from me!
The first on the card at 9.55 is the 5f Group Three Prix de Saint-Georges. There appears to have been plenty of support for Duhail for this. The lightly raced 4yo had just two runs in his 3yo campaign with a second in a Listed race at Deauville in July the last time he was seen; he must be doing something on the Gallops for the money that has come for him. I haven’t seen it though and won’t be punting at the price he is now – around 4’s from 8’s.
At 11.55 the mile Group Three Prix de Fontainebleau for three-year-old colts and geldings was potentially a cracker but the unbeaten Victor Ludorum, winner of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day last year, is now odds-on with Earthlight missing the race. It’s hard to see him getting turned over but at the price he aint a bet.
We have the three-year-old fillies straight after at 12.25 over the same mile trip for the Group Three Prix de la Grotte. Connections of the Freddy Head-trained filly Khayzaraan hold Classic ambitions this season but I think she might be up against it on her three-year-old debut with G.1 Cheveley Park Stakes third Tropbeau lining-up. Beaten on debut she progressed all season, won her maiden on her second start, then and Group Three and a Group Two before the visit to HQ in September. Her form is the best on show by some way and she is my one bet on the day at 11-8.