I’m not convinced by a couple towards the head of the market in the 2m1.5f conditions chase at Auteuil this afternoon (12.25pm) and am hoping for a big run from British raider McGroarty.
The 10 year old was another astute purchase by Sophie and Christian Leech, after finishing second in a claiming hurdle at Fakenham in March. However, he has some serious back form to his name over fences and though beaten a little way, was finishing third off marks in the high 140s as recently as last summer over the larger obstacles.
He took well to racing in France this summer, placing twice over hurdles in minor company (albeit form that is plenty strong enough in the context of this) before finishing second in a Listed Quinte handicap hurdle at Clairefontaine to Futbolisto. He was among the favourites for a competitive Quinte back over fences at Clairefontaine last time, but the step up in trip didn’t look to suit and he certainly ran with plenty of credit.
There are question marks over plenty of these and back over this trip and with recent form in the book, McGroarty looks a bit of value to return to winning ways.
12.25pm Auteuil – 1pt win McGroarty @ 7-1 (all firms)
There is just no strength in depth to the AQPS fillies’ hurdle (1.07pm) and at the prices, I have to take a chance on Gravina.
Donatien Sourdeau de Beauregard does really well with his team and is operating at a 17% strike-rate this term. She travelled with plenty of purpose when fourth on her debut in February and her next two runs just didn’t go to plan at all – she fell early on here, before then having a nightmare trip around Dieppe, with one bad mistake followed by twice being hampered.
She has shown enough ability to be competitive in a race of this nature and though the favourite stands out as the one of these that could go on to be very useful if taking to hurdles (she won a 1m7f AQPS bumper on debut), it looks a weak enough race aside from her.
Her dam was a winner here over hurdles and fences and has already produced two smart fillies (including a Listed winner here), so there is also reason on pedigree to suggest there could be further improvement forthcoming this season.
1.07pm Auteuil – 1pt each-way Gravina @ 22-1 (various, 25-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair)