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Cedric Boutin isn’t a trainer whose horses I’d be backing very often, but Mehanydream is too tempting at a big price at Vichy this morning (11.20am).
Delphine Santiago could presumably have ridden Svoul (current favourite), having been on board on his last four starts, but keeps the faith with our selection, having ridden him when he finished a very creditable seventh at Saint-Cloud earlier this month over 6.5f. He does stay that trip, but was in front until the final half-furlong that day and the drop back to the minimum, especially on heavy ground, is a plus.
Blinkers return in place of the cheekpieces he has worn on his last four starts, and he has a notable course record, with two wins and a third from four starts here. Those wins include a success in this race last year off this same basement mark of 15, though he did go on to further success last autumn at Lyon Parilly off a 2kg higher mark.
He loves soft ground and this will presumably have been the target for a little while, so the 20-1 on offer is very appealing.
11.20am Vichy – 2pts win, 1pt place Mehanydream @ 20-1 (all firms)
Czech trainer Dalibor Torok had one run very well at Vichy yesterday and Duplikat is an interesting contender in the mile maiden (1.07pm).
He started out in a very warm maiden at Deauville last month, from which the second, third and fourth were all next-time-out winners. The fifth, seventh and ninth all placed in maiden company on their next start, so the form couldn’t have worked out much better.
His sibling won a ParisLongchamp claimer for this yard in July (but was rated the equivalent of 84UK and had shown some decent form in the Czech Republic), while the dam was a multiple winner on the flat (handling soft ground) and went on to win twice over jumps in France.
He held an entry in the 1m2f maiden yesterday, but should be a thorough stayer at this trip, which will be a necessity given the testing conditions. Queen Sao is an obvious favourite but is no value at evens, and while Grey Tornado makes a fair bit of appeal with Guyon in the saddle, I am happy to chance Duplikat at double the price.
1.07pm Vichy – 1pt win Duplikat @ 10-1 (all firms)
Mathieu Boutin has been in incredible form of late and it wouldn’t surprise to see Lookingfortrouble run a big race in the opener (10.50am).
She made much of the running at Dieppe last time and though ultimately well held, it was a step in the right direction. She has plenty to find on ratings, but if she handles this ground I can see her running into a place.
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