The colts and geldings’ maiden at Vichy (12.50pm) doesn’t look the strongest of affairs, and North Sound should be shorter than the 6/5 on offer this morning.

A 400,000gns purchase as a yearling, this son of the excellent New Bay finished a short-head second on debut in a newcomers’ contest at Saint-Cloud late last month.  He was just pipped by a well-bred Rouget representative that day, but the pair pulled 11L clear of the third and North Sound really impressed with the way he went through the race, and looked the one to take out of it.

He’ll face softer ground here, but both sides of the pedigree suggest that won’t be any issue (his dam was a Listed winner on heavy) and he should be too good for today’s rivals.

12.50pm Vichy – 2pts win North Sound @ 6/5 (most firms)


Licorne runs in the fillies’ maiden (12.15pm) and could be worth a small double with North Sound.  She fluffed her lines on second start this term, but the well-bred three year old returned to form when splitting two black-type performers on her next start.

She had shaped nicely on debut at Chantilly and after her run at Fontainebleau next time, it was good to see her return to form at Lyon on her latest outing.  She settled nicely in second and battled on up the straight, beaten by a Chappet-trained filly that went on to finish second in a Group 3 in Germany next time.  The fourth home, which looked unlucky, is well thought of and holds a class 1 entry next week, and generally it looked a fair bit stronger than today’s contest.

Yann Barberot will be desperately keen to get the maiden win by Licorne’s name, having splashed out €290,000 on her as a yearling, and though there are a couple of representatives from top yards here, Licorne has experience on her side and form in the book, so the 11/8 looks fair.