Our first bet of the day goes in the claiming hurdle at Saint-Malo (4.05pm), where Granit De Thaix looks a big price to record a third success over hurdles.
He hasn’t been seen since a disastrous campaign in Cagnes last winter, where he pulled up on three of four starts and fell on the other occasion. However, those four starts came within a month of each other and he actually ran well the day he fell. The last three of those runs all came over fences.
His two wins have come first time out – on debut at Vichy in September 2019 (won with plenty to spare) and on seasonal reapperance, back from 11 months off, at Strasbourg last October, winning on the bridle, despite giving weight away all round.
His yard is in good form, which is encouraging for this reappearance, and though the fact he returns in a claimer is slightly off-putting, his yard’s runners do tend to be very competitive at this level.
Though ratings have to be taken with a pinch of salt in this grade, he is the highest-rated of these, he is 2-6 over hurdles so far and 2-2 when fresh, so he has plenty in his favour today.
4.05pm Saint-Malo – 2pts win Granit De Thaix @ 14-1 (all firms, though 16-1 available with Bet365)
Our second bet on the card goes in the 1m1f claimer (5.42pm), with Senepark looking a cracking bet on his second start for rookie trainer Laura Hebrard de Veyrinas.
A three-time winner for Norbert Leenders, he won on his debut for Fabrice Foucher last year off a mark of 33.5, the form of which would give him the beating of these.
He went on to place in competitive handicaps off 35 last summer, but finished the season on a quiet note and was sent by his owner to his current yard, who are 3-15 in the past couple of months.
I really liked his comeback run over this CD in what was a better race than this – he was held up, given a sympathetic ride and kept on up the straight under hands and heels. That run should put him spot on for this, he is down in grade and they’re claiming off him today as well, so he’ll be carrying just 53.5kg.
5.42 Saint-Malo – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Senepark @ 12-1 (all firms)