Auteuil’s second meeting back from the summer break features two exciting Listed races for the three year olds, as well as a Listed handicap hurdle for the four year olds. Please see below the Race Sharp preview of the big races of the day in Paris.
10.55am – PRIX PELAT (LISTED)
A Listed contest for three-year-old fillies, this has been won by foreign raiders for the past two years, with Harry Fry’s Fortunes Melody scoring last term and the Emmet Mullins-trained Fujimoto Flyer winning in 2019. The race had previously been a conditions contest, but the promotion to Listed level looks well-deserved, given recent winners include the exceptional L’Autonomie (2018) and subsequent Grade 1-winning chaser Whetstone (2017).
Though she has yet to be tested at Auteuil, Altesse Du Berlais looks the one to beat on form. She recovered from a bad mistake at the second-last on debut at Clairefontaine, eventually quickening clear to score with plenty in hand. She returned to the same course a month later and was again strong at the finish, beating the re-opposing Angie (who is also now 4lbs worse off) by 10L. A half-sister to Auteuil Listed winner Colbert Du Berlais, she is out of a half-sister to 2020 Pertemps Final winner Sire Du Berlais, while granddam Royale Athenia won at the top level here.
Francois Nicolle was in fine form at Auteuil’s opening meeting of the month last week and he runs four in this, including the top-rated La Cheneviere. Beaten 18L+ on her first two starts here in the spring, she got the better of stablemate West End Girl (who re-opposes today) in the Prix du Defile at the end of June, though that didn’t look the strongest of races.
Sire Montmartre has three of the seven-strong field here and Miss Falcon looks a good prospect, having scored with plenty in hand at Compiegne last time, shedding her maiden tag at the fourth time of asking. Her trainer has suggested that she might strip fitter for the run today.
Ma Beaute returns with a point to prove, having pulled up when favourite for the race won by La Cheneviere, while Havania has been making hay in claiming company, but was defeated at Clairefontaine in her bid for a fifth success at that level and looks out of her depth.
11.30am – PRIX DES PLATANES (LISTED)
Another Listed race for three year olds, this time for the geldings. Guillaume Macaire has used this as a springboard for some of his leading hopes in recent seasons, with Galleo Conti winning in 2019, subsequent Cambaceres winner Master Dino scoring in 2017 and the top-class Device landing the 2015 renewal. Subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Pic D’Orhy won in 2018 for Francois Nicolle.
Gaby Leenders took this last year with Baladin De Mesc (by the same sire) and he runs Imprenable, who finished third behind two David Cottin (who dominated the juvenile hurdles earlier in the season) representatives here on debut and won on his second outing, beating smart prospects from top yards, the trio finishing well clear of the remainder. He has been away on grass on a couple of occasions in preparation for this and looks a big contender.
Igloo D’Estruval won his first two starts, at Dax and Lyon, before finishing third at Clairefontaine. He got the better of a useful yardstick on his chasing debut there last time and given his yard’s recent record in this, he has to be greatly respected now returned to the smaller obstacles.
Francois Nicolle runs two, and though You’re The Boss faces a stiff task on debut, he has a big reputation and could have a say on debut. Mister Vision’s form looks a little way short of what is required.
Erwan Grall’s string haven’t yet hit the heights this year, but he did have a winner at the opening meeting last week and there was a lot to like about Imitateur’s debut second in the prestigious Prix Rush here in March.
That form has been given a significant boost in recent weeks by the third, Ironman Des Places (tipped up on Race Sharp when scoring at Clairefontaine last month, and again successful over fences here last week) and he came from last in the back straight to challenge in the run to the line.
It’s also worth noting the Gaby Leenders has highlighted his conqueror that day, Lorason, as being one of his top two three year olds to have run so far, the other being Imprenable. Out of a Listed winner here, the Haras de Saint Voir-owned son of Coastal Path is a full brother to Gagneur (who won the Listed handicap on this card last year) and Bosseur (Grade 3 winner and dual Grade 1-placed).
Ecurie Sagara’s Luc Gabeur has only held a training licence since the end of July, but Sagarrou gave him his first winner as a trainer with just his second runner (both on the same day!) when scoring in a 1m7f maiden at le Lion D’Angers. The bare form is nothing special at all, but he won with plenty in hand, despite looking very green under pressure.
12.50pm – PRIX ALAIN ET GILLES DE GOULAINE (LISTED HANDICAP)
A Listed handicap hurdle for four year olds, this doesn’t look the strongest of renewals and offers a good chance for Anneloralas to bounce back from a subdued effort at Clairefontaine when last seen in July. She won a handicap here off just 2lbs lower in October and went on to place twice in Listed handicaps off a higher mark than today’s.
Martin Spirit finished second to a stablemate in a competitive handicap at Clairefontaine last time, having bumped into a big improver on his previous outing at the same course. Pulled up here in May (in tough conditions and given an aggressive ride), he had previously finished third in a Listed handicap here and is an obvious contender once again.
Ex-flat performer Stern Idol seems to be getting the hang of things over hurdles, winning in fine style at Dieppe in May before a fourth in a handicap here the following month. He should be suited by the better ground today and is a live contender for a yard that is among the winners at present.
Celtic Girl is a relatively interesting contender at the foot of the weights, having won in the provinces last time on just her second start since switching to Julien Merienne (who also runs top-weight Happy Roque), while one to keep an eye on for future reference is Hermes D’Allier. A well-bred, scopey sort, he has been brought along steadily in his career to date, but looks an ideal type for Auteuil and there should be mileage in his handicap mark of 55. This may prove too tough on his handicap debut, but he is likely to be making his mark in this sphere this autumn.