The Listed Grand Prix de la Region Grand Est at Strasbourg (1.15pm) has attracted a strong field, including a foreign raider from the UK (Blue Cup). The obvious one in the field is Monty, already a winner at this level this season and fourth to Mare Australis in the Group 1 Prix Ganay in May. His yard had a Group 3 winner at ParisLongchamp earlier this month and he is very much the one to beat, but at a bigger price Top Max makes plenty of appeal.
The Henri-Alex Pantall-trained five year old won this race in great style last year, after which he followed up at the same level in Marseille. He won a minor race in Qatar earlier this year and following four runs there, was off from February until reappearing in Group 3 company at Vichy in July. Though only fifth of six that day, it was a really strong field (won by subsequent Group 1 winner Grand Glory), he went through the race with lots of enthusiasm and it was only in the final furlong that he gave way, understandably given it was his first run of the summer.
This has likely been the plan for some time, his yard is in good form and the ground remains on the soft side, which will suit. Though the favourite brings very strong form to the table, Top Max looks overpriced against him.
1.15pm Strasbourg – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Top Max @ 15/2 (various, though 8-1 available with Skybet)