The Listed Prix Saonois at Cagnes-sur-Mer this afternoon is another key race at this meeting that should provide one or two horses to follow this spring. We’ve already seen Pao Alto and last Sunday’s tip Indian Wish use this meeting to go on to better things and the two that stand out in this field to me are 15/8 favourite Shafaaf and 8-1 Bellharbour Music.
Shafaaf is a son of Medaglia D’Oro who is lightly-raced and his performance over this C&D last month was ominous for today’s opposition. He has been beaten in Listed company before but he rates as a different proposition on the polytrack today given his US breeding and this trip looks suitable. Demuro blamed his last defeat on a lack of maturity and he will be hard to beat.
Bellharbour Music had been earmarked for the Dubai Carnival this year and would have been the top-rated French hope if getting on the plane. He was unsold at the Arc Sale last year at €550,000 and missed the back end of the season due to soft ground – they had been thinking about the Group Two Prix Daniel Wildenstein against Real World and The Revenant. At 8-1 it would be mad not to have at least a small bet on him, given this Group form and his aptitude for the PSF. He’s drawn poorly, 12/12, but let’s hope legendary Palio jockey Giuseppe Pes has been working his magic at home.
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43-rated Dar Toungi will probably run a career best today but having won just three of his 11 starts, he’s become a bit disappointing and the Kendargents aren’t always the most generous in a battle.
The horse I have most been looking forward to seeing at this meeting is the Spanish-trained Legionario. He makes his debut on French soil today and this polytrack monster will almost certainly cut loose on the front end of this race. He’s obviously in deep here and has the profile of a horse that could be tailed, but we saw with King Gold last week that recent form can pay dividends at this meeting, as he lowered the colours of Group One star Marianafoot.
Legionario has won 11 of 12 starts on this surface and is untouchable in his home country:
— Último Furlong (@UltimoFurlongTV) December 30, 2021
Jockey Vaclav Janacek appears stronger and smarter than most and he has been devastating from the front on recent French winners Furioso and Oxalis (great tipping, Nathaniel!). At 14-1 I think we will get a great run for our money.
3.25pm Cagnes-sur-Mer – 1pt win Legionario @ 14-1 (William Hill and generally available, or 16-1 with bet365); and
3.25pm Cagnes-sur-Mer – 0.5pt win Bellharbour Music @ 15/2 (William Hill and generally available, or 8-1 with bet365)