At Cagnes-sur-Mer this afternoon I will be siding with selections either stabled at the racecourse or locally, who appear to hold an edge over their Parisian-stabled counterparts.
At 12.05pm, all eyes will be on Marianafoot, who makes his first start since winning the Prix Maurice de Gheest last year. An easy three-length winner of the same contest last season, he is penalised 9lbs and his fitness levels are well below par according to trainer Jerome Reynier.
It’s a tall order taking on a horse who has won his last nine starts, though I feel he is vulnerable today, having no doubt been taken out of training full stop after October, as connections looked for a place at stud. Reynier admits that next season will be far too late for his star to begin stud duties, so perhaps we can expect a more aggressive campaign at the back end, culminating in the Breeders Cup Mile.
Stablemate Elusive Foot will make the running under Maxime Guyon and although he has plenty to find on adjusted ratings, it’s hard to see this colt outside the first two. A fan of this trip and surface, he looks an anchor leg for any each-way multiples today. He will be at peak fitness, having been denied a start in a Qatari sprint against Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon next week.
12.05pm Cagnes – 1pt each-way Elusive Foot @ 7/2 (William Hill and generally available)
At 2.35pm, I’m backing another last time out winner, Go Fast. Prior to Go Fast’s win at this meeting in January, the Nicolas Caullery yard had just one winner from 123 starts, but has since had three wins in the last two weeks and a handful of podium finishers. He was the subject of incredible market support in spite of the yard form and further progression might be unlocked by both that confidence boost and the fitting of first-time cheekpieces.
Christophe Soumillon (26 wins this calendar year) retains the ride and although he carries 2kg more for that success, four of eight winning handicappers rated in the 20s band at this course to reappear at the same track on their next start placed. There are a lot of horses out of form at this time of the year and this is an attractive each-way frame, especially if you can take the five places with William Hill.
2.35pm Cagnes – 1pt each-way Go Fast @ 9-1 (Generally available or 17/2 5 places with William Hill is acceptable)