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The class 3 conditions hurdle (1.50pm) is quite weak for the money on offer (though that’s not unusual for Cagnes), and it offers Peace Garden a chance to return to winning ways on his first start over hurdles since winning in Italy in December 2020.

 

He is established as a decent chaser in Italy, winning at Grade 2 level in September 2021 and scoring again over fences in October last year.  Brought down on his first ever outing in France in early December in a class 1 chase, he subsequently finished fourth in Milan a week later, before finishing a close-up sixth in the Listed here on Christmas Day.  He was ridden by the stable jockey Josef Bartos (who is again on board today) on that occasion, finishing a length off stablemate Suroit, who went on to score over fences here on New Year’s Day.

 

He was off the bridle some way out last time, but kept on well enough up the straight, wasn’t beaten far and finds himself in calmer waters here.  The 60-rated pair Rhum Bleu and Fox Challenger have to be respected, but the former is a 15-race maiden and the latter pulled up here last time (having made a promising winning hurdling debut on his previous outing), so at the prices they are worth taking on.

 

The cheekpieces go on today and he is worth chancing at double-figure odds.

 

1.50pm Cagnes – 1pt win Peace Garden @ 14-1 (all firms)

 

 

 

Illogique D’Ainay cost me a bit when unseating Felix de Giles at the last at Cagnes in December 2021 (when a big price and still in the lead), but I’ve just about come around to forgiving him!   He ran his best race since when fourth here last time in the first-time cheekpieces and today might be the time to catch him.

 

His trainer Mathieu Pitart had stated that his two comeback runs in November were very much a preparation for the Cagnes meeting, but he was beaten some way out on both of his first two starts on the Riviera, pulling up on his penultimate start, having been dropped out from the off.

 

However, he ran much better last time, finishing a staying-on fourth on Christmas Day, 8L off today’s second-favourite Jolymin.  Mon Vieux and Wopart were behind that day, but both are less than half our selection’s price this morning, despite re-opposing on worse terms.

 

Illogique D’Ainay travelled nicely in the first-time cheekpieces on that occasion and saw his race out well.  If he settles well early today, there could be improvement to come for the step up to 2m4f and 22-1 looks a bit of value.

 

2.25 Cagnes – 1pt win Illogique D’Ainay @ 22-1 (most firms)

 

 

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