A superb card at Chantilly gets underway with a maiden for unraced juveniles. The going is given as soft and it now looks set for a fair afternoon, which is a dramatic improvement on the storms which were forecast at the start of this weekend.
The opening maiden is not one I’d usually get too heavily involved with but I do think that there is a small bit of value here. Frederic Rossi is not perhaps known in the UK as being a dab hand with juveniles and I think the markets will continue to play catch up with him for some time now. We know from speaking to him in April that his best juvenile bullets are to hit the ground this summer and his two today are fancied, going by comments in the Paris Turf. Rose Premium is almost joint-favourite at 5/2 and despite being a Dark Angel half-sister to speedball Louliana, I hate her 12/13 draw in the middle of the track. Arabian Music gets the vote at 8-1 and is clearly no second string. Maxime Guyon is riding out of his skin and this half-sister to Prix de l’Arc entry Areen is described as having plenty of pace. Sire Maclean’s Music stands in the US for $25,000 and has some fair juvenile results to his name from small crops, including Dirt Mile 4th Complexity, who won the Grade One Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in his juvenile season. Arabian Music’s half brother Royal By Nature placed fourth in the Grade Three Bourbon Stakes, despite travelling wide, and Areen himself was rated 90 at the end of his juvenile season.
I love the draw in 3 and a big run would come as no surprise to me.
12.30pm Chantilly – 1pt win Arabian Music @ 8-1 (all firms)
Favourite Breizh Eagle was a horse I profiled for Race Sharp readers ahead of the French 2000 Guineas, on the basis he was a fascinating contender from a unfancy yard (link). He arrives here on the back of a fantastic third place, as he flashed home from a bad draw, and to many punters he will appeal at even-money. His trainer thinks he isn’t the same horse in soft ground and also on the going stick the ground today at Chantilly will ride slightly better than at Longchamp last month, I’m drawn to Jerome Reynier’s improving Paco, especially given the stiffer track.
Paco has rattled up a hattrick and has the assistance of our contributor Theo Bachelot today. Reynier has supplemented Paco for this and has an outstanding recent record in stakes races, especially when he sends his up to Paris from Calas. Paco has 4kg to find on ratings with the favourite but I expected him to be half the price today and ahead of Fabre’s Erasmo. He would be a fantastic each-way wager with an eighth runner here, but instead we have to bet him win only. For those that can take insurebet 2 places or even without the favourite, he would appeal in those markets too.
1.05pm – 2pt win Paco @ 12-1 (Betfair and Paddy Power, generally 11-1)
This is an interesting contest with the presence not only of Wesley Ward’s Keeneland winner Napa Spirit, but also Theo Bachelot’s pocket rocket Dizzy Bizu. Juveniles are of course maturing at a rate of knots at the moment and in a race mainly composed of maiden winners, it would be unwise to go too crazy with your bets here. However, I will stick with the crazy theme and have a speculative punt on big outsider Regalien at 40-1. He was the subject of light support last night and although he is one of only two maidens in the line-up, he missed the break badly and finished like an express train on his sole start at Chateaubriant. Despite the winner being well-bred, the form won’t amount to much but I think there is a small angle in the fact that trainer Yann Barberot knows the Dizzy Bizu formline from his smart colt Condrieu and is describing today as Regalien’s ‘Derby’. I don’t mind looking like a fool at 40-1!
2.15pm Chantilly – 0.5pt win Regalien @ 40-1 (Betfair and Paddy Power, generally 33-1)
In the Prix de Diane I am torn between a few runners and my strongest fancy is drawn in the car park – Sibila Spain. I will reluctantly watch with no bet!
3.00pm Chantilly – No bet
National Service is a horse that Nathaniel and I are dead keen to follow this year as a four-year-old. Scratched from his last engagement at Longchamp, we are both expecting him to make into a classy miler. 2-2 at Chantilly, Rossi has been very positive about his horse and although I think the 2020 winner Pretreville is attractively priced at 9/2, I will rely solely on National Service here with a good draw and Stephane Pasquier in the saddle.
3.40pm Chantilly – 1pt win National Service @ 12-1 (Betfair and Paddy Power, generally 10-1)