The opening fillies’ maiden at Chantilly doesn’t look the strongest of races and Andre Fabre’s Gizala looks likely to be a warm order at the top of the market.
She was very unlucky not to finish closer here last time, when eighth behind the Philippe Decouz-trained Delida (tipped by Tristan!) and she surely would have finished in the frame with a run. She could make amends here, but I’m not convinced there is that much more to come from her and at the prices, I prefer Caligine.
The Francis Graffard-trained filly missed the break on both starts last year, but she nevertheless showed plenty of ability on her first start, which came here on turf, before a luckless run at Lyon. Slowly away, she was rushed up, raced wide and was then carried right off the bend on the turn for home. She kept on to finish third and though the bare form is nothing special, the run can certainly be upgraded. By Lope De Vega and out of a New Approach mare that placed at Listed level on the All-Weather in Ireland, she is bred to come into her own this year.
Francis Graffard has his team in blistering form, with eight of his last 13 runners winning. The booking of Soumillon (5-6 for the yard since 1st February) is also a big plus; the Belgian is riding high at the top of the standings, already on the 45-winner mark for the year and nine clear of Maxime Guyon.
10.50am Chantilly – 1pt win Caligine @ 2-1 (all firms)
In the colts & geldings maiden at 11.50am, I liked the chances of Wakaburn, who showed distinct promise in two starts last year and reappears in what looks a winnable contest. An expensive breeze-up purchase last year, the son of Wootton Bassett has the physical scope to make a better three year old and represents an in-form yard.
He was given the Prix du Jockey Club entry earlier this week (like yesterday’s winning selection) and should go well today. I won’t put him up, as the overnight prices have gone, but he is certainly one to watch.