Connections of Celestin Mercury have done well to end up with a mark of 55 over hurdles and the five year old can go one better than on his handicap debut and score at Auteuil this afternoon.

Fourth and third here last backend, he improved with racing in Cagnes, where his yard does so well, culminating with a ready win over fences, the form of which is really solid in the context of this.

Back from nearly two months off, he finished a close second here to Folly Foot, who is a rock-solid handicapper and a regular in the first division of the Quinte handicaps.  It’s fair to say Celestin Mercury was unfortunate to bump into him in a second division and the pair drew clear of the third.

There’s nothing of the proven calibre of Folly Foot in this and though the class horse in the race is top weight and stablemate Raffles Quattro, he is having his first run of the season and jockey bookings suggest Celestin Mercury is the one today.

Yannick Fouin does so well in these second division handicaps and though he is unsurprisingly heading the market at 3-1, Celestin Mercury is still worth supporting.

RECOMMENDED BET: 4.00pm Auteuil – Celestin Mercury win @ 3-1 (all firms)


Not for the first time, Reve De Prince looked the likely winner on his latest outing at Cagnes in January, on this occasion coming down at the second-last.

He just doesn’t finish off his races strongly enough, but he does travel into them so well and in the third division of the handicap hurdle, he could well have enough class to get home.

He was runner-up here off 53 last June, and the form of his fifth/sixth place finishes here in the autumn in second division handicaps are enough to give him a big shout if he is ready to go on his return to action after two weeks off.

RECOMMENDED BET: 5.40pm Auteuil – Reve De Prince each-way @ 14-1 (various)